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It's finally done

Phew.  It took a lot longer than I expected, but I finally wrapped up the first draft of my post apocalyptic comedy book.

I'm still feeling a bit frantic from scrambling to finish it, so my mind's not altogether here right now.  Pardon me if this post is either brief or meandering.

So, the book doesn't have a good title yet.  I've been referring to it here on the blog as "post apocalyptic comedy" and in my working draft Word file I've been calling it "PACT."  (The main character is a government employee who's searching for survivors as society rebuilds itself - a Post-Apocalyptic Census Taker.)  But the title is only one of many things that's been a pain in the ass about this book.

I shouldn't speak that negatively.  That would make it sound like I hate the story or something, which I don't - I'm quite fond of this book and I enjoyed all the brainstorming that went into it. It's just that I haven't had such a hard time actually writing a book in my adult life.

I started working on this one back in 2015, inspired by the egocentrism / fatalism of Doomsday Preppers, and I was fully confident that I'd have a draft finished in 2016.  It just didn't happen.  I was hit with writer's block time and time again, even as I was jotting down ideas and plot beats left and right.  It was the first time I've ever found myself thinking, "Y'know, maybe I'm just more of an ideas guy."

The big takeaway from this is that I'm at a point where my writing has crossed over from a reignited passion to simply being work.  That may sound disheartening, and maybe it is a little bit.  Something that used to be a starry-eyed dream now feels kinda like doing laundry.  "Oh, great, I've gotta get another two thousand word chapter in here.  Sigh."  Since I haven't made any profit off my books yet, I think that means that this particular laundry has a metaphorical stain that won't come out?

Anyway, there is a bit of bleakness in seeing it as just something I "have" to do instead of something I "want" to do, but there's also a bit of comfort.  I'm taking more joy in finding ways to challenge myself rather than the bare act of writing itself, and I think that's probably the right attitude to have.  Any idiot can get psyched about "writing" and knock out 60,000 words of dreck.  A lot of idiots do, in fact.  But being able to do it consistently and still be excited to learn?  That's the kind of mindset that makes you better.

I shouldn't pat myself on the back.  I don't know if I'm a better writer now than I was four years ago when I started this blog.  I sure hope I am.  I feel like I am.  But even if I'm not, I think I've cut out a path to get there, and I will be better some day.

I'm going to sit on this one for a good six months or so before I even think about revisions.  I'm pretty sure I'll still get it out on the market this fall, but until then, I'm going to enjoy taking a break from worrying about it.