69 days, 76,800 words, another manuscript finished

Today I finished the first draft of my third manuscript, ending a frenzied 69 days of flat out writing. When I began this marathon I’d only written the first chapter, so essentially I’ve written an 80,000 word book in two and a half months. I have mixed feelings about this.

Obviously, I’m proud of the achievement. I probably averaged six hours’ sleep a night, so I’m looking forward to re-programming my body to sleep past 5am again. I can give my brain (and my fingers) a break for a while. I’m now free to devote my time and energy to editing my other manuscript(s). I can once again have a conversation with my husband that goes beyond ‘Can’t talk; writing’. This is all good.

But all these benefits can’t quite make up for the weird sense of loss I feel. It’s like when you get to the end of a great book, only you created the characters, so they’re like your kids. I’m going to miss them. Some days they seemed more real to me than real people. I spent hours of time thinking about what they were going to do next, and now I have to let them go. The good part about writing a series is that I can go back to them again when I write the third book, and in the meantime I can make them even better in the two I’ve already written. But their next adventure is already beginning to percolate in my head. Luckily, I’ve got plenty of time to let it simmer, because next on the agenda is editing.

As I mentioned in my previous post, I’m not quite sure which manuscript is going to be up first. I hope it’s the first in the series, because that’s the one I really want to work on. Editing can be fun, but it’s nowhere near the high of the raw writing. There’s nothing like the feeling of the words flowing from my brain through my fingers and onto the screen as I create a world and manipulate characters within it. It’s like a drug; the more I do it, the more I want to do it.

So I’ve got the day off tomorrow. I don’t know what I’m going to do when I wake up at 5.30, as I do most mornings now. Normally, I’d lie in bed for a bit longer, thinking about where I’m up to in the story and where I’m going to go. Then I’d get up and start writing. It’s going to be weird to not have anything to do.

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About Rebecca Freeborn

Writer, reader, horse rider, unapologetic grammar nazi, wine drinker. View all posts by Rebecca Freeborn

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