Slogging towards the finish line

The novel … is coming along.
I was killing it all through the fall, hitting 50,000 words in November and 65,000 words just 12 days later. 
Then Christmas came along and sidetracked me, and I found it hard to get back into the groove in January. And … well, now it’s February.
I think the trouble has been that all of the exciting parts are written — including the beginning and the end — so now I’m at the less-fun part of completed unfinished parts, moving parts around, making sure things are in the right order because why is this character talking about something that happened on Remembrance Day when it’s still only September? Whoops. Got a little drag-and-drop happy with that scene. 
Five things I am tired of hearing when my novel comes up in conversation:
  1. Is it done yet? (No.)
  2. Can I read it? (Not yet. But thanks.)
  3. Is it good? (Um, yes, I hope so?)
  4. What’s it about? (I haven’t written the elevator pitch yet. Stay tuned.)
  5. I wish I had time to write a book! (Me, too. I have to make the time!
This is the closest I’ve ever been to having a book that’s actually publishable, but I feel like I’m chugging too slowly on these final steps.
I could be pitching publishers, but I want it to be finished first (which is not necessary). 
I could be working on a marketing plan, but I want it to be finished first (and it’s SO CLOSE). 
I could be working FASTER — as in every day! — but lately I have found myself sleeping through my Fringe Hour even though I go to bed pretty darn early. Am I avoiding it through sleep? Am I just really freaking tired? So many questions!

After weeks of saying “I’ll set my alarm for 6:40 (the absolute latest I can wake up to get the kids ready for school) and if I happen to wake up earlier, it means I’m rested and I should work on my novel,” I realized that wasn’t working. I wasn’t waking up earlier than the alarm, or I was lying in bed surfing Instagram if I did happen to wake up before it.

So on Sunday night, I set the alarm for 5:30 again. I was surprised to wake up just after 5 a.m. on Monday, like my body sensed it the alarm was coming. I drifted back to sleep and got up at 5:30 as planned, which gave me exactly 60 minutes to write and 10 minutes to be spent making tea, brushing my teeth, booting up the Chromebook, etc.

I’ve done the same for the past two mornings, and … it feels so good to be back into it.

I think I’d been dreading the “boring finishing line work” so much that I’d let myself forget that I really do enjoy writing — and reading — this novel. Yes, it’s tedious to be checking references and skipping around making sure the order of something makes sense, but it’s one of the jobs that needs to happen.

I’m back in the habit and I’m not stopping now. 5:30, I own you. I might even get back to 5 a.m. if I’m really dedicated. Because this novel? Is going to be published whether it likes it or not!


So what do you think?

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