Rejoice. The hiatus is now officially over! My family is settled in our new Arkansas home, and it's not just the move that's occupied my attention!
This book was by far the most difficult project I've yet undertaken, not just because of the scope and scale, but life was really hard through most of the process. Between changing jobs, packing up to move, going through the move itself, and getting familiar with this new place, it wasn't always easy (or possible) to make my daily goals. Towards the end I suffered the same fatigue every writer suffers if they do long-form. At times I loved what I had made, other times I hated it. But the work kept me going on days when I thought I was going to lose my mind, when I thought I was living a life defined only by miserable stress. I can only imagine how much worse that stress would have been if I was writing something I didn't really care about, if I was chasing a market because of someone else's definition of good literature.
I also learned something about the tools we use. Ultimately, it doesn't matter what you work with as long as you're willing to devote the time and effort to finish the job. There were times when my progress was slow and I thought I might never get the book done, and in such times I considered the following examples of others who had come before me:
Richard Adams: wrote Watership Down by hand, 137,000 words, in 18 months.
Herman Melville: wrote Moby Dick by hand, 200,000 words, in 18 months.
Norman Mailer: wrote The Naked and the Dead on a typewriter, 220,000 words, at a rate of twenty-five pages a week (couldn't find reliable information on time of draft completion).
Brian Jacques: wrote Redwall by hand, 100,000 words, in seven months.
J.R.R. Tolkien: wrote The Lord of the Rings on a typewriter, over 500,000 words, in 12 years (albeit, this was mostly do to his choice to balance his university career and the methods he employed when developing the story, having never intended to write a sequel to The Hobbit).
So yeah, while there were times I wished I could write as fast as Stephen King (who can crank them out in three months), in the end it takes as long as it takes. Some are fast, some are slow. Nobody cares about the information above because the finished works have changed countless lives. One of the most difficult lessons I've had to learn is that time shouldn't be too great of a concern. I'm not even ready to start editing the draft, but for now, the fact that I persevered and managed to get it done despite increasing pressure is consolation enough.
I certainly had more fun working on this book than any other in recent times. Maybe it'll be the one, maybe not. Meanwhile, I've decided to reward myself with a little treat, one that will hopefully prevent future supply problems.
Behold, the Donut!
$60 for 660 yards of ribbon from Baco Ribbon Supply. I don't think I'll have to buy any more for a long long time.
Power to perseverance, no matter what your end-goal!