I finished Chapter Ten of my erotic romance at 3:00 AM this morning. I’m red-eyed from lack of sleep but oh so satisfied, because the manuscript is now at 53,000 words—novel-length! There are still four chapters or so left to do (unless the bastard keeps expanding on me), so who knows what the final word count will be. I’m just happy I’m successfully writing longer work, again, which is something I’d given up hope on back in those “pit of gloom” years.
I could jump into Chapter Eleven, but instead I’m tapping away at a short story for my dark fantasy romance collection, Love Bites: The Werewolves of Crescent City. Why? Because it really helps my manic need to have something finished in my hands RIGHT FUCKING NOW by juggling a short story with a novel or novella. It’s hard to finish a chapter that took two weeks to write and rewrite and then realize that it’s just one step of many needed to finish the whole story. Know what happens after I write “The End”? I send it off to
hatchet-wielding maniacs editors and wait to edit in their suggestions and corrections. Then it’s a round of proofreading to make sure the new material is typo-free. Then it’s a push through a text-to-speech program since eyeballs invariably miss small errors.
It’s a shitload of trudging, in other words, and sometimes I just want to write a 5,000-word story that I can start and finish in under a week. Chase that shiny idea, catch it and shape it, and then release it to the readers. It lets me play and keeps me from tightening into a neurotic ball of perfectionism. (Ask me how long I can debate with myself over whether this one sentence needs a comma or not. ASK.)
So, yes. Balance. Juggling quick sketches with intricate drawings. Blowing steam and focusing hard. And every once in a while, remembering to sleep.