@Fleur de Lis
My need to write is like my need to breathe. If I stop I lose it.
I've got 1.5 million words of diaries over the past 10 years, I take pages of notes for every book I read, which is why it usually takes me a month to finish a book, I keep detailed records of everything (as an example, I took the temperature every hour (except sleep time, which was in short bursts because of the heat) for the end of July through October in 2016, and ended up with something like 3,000 data points that I'll get to putting in a graph one day. I've got the first week done.)
But actually writing a book and seeing it through is tough. I don't understand it, it just happens sometimes. The last one was easy because I just rushed through it in two and a half months. The new one that was maybe two or three weeks to outline, then I waited three years and wrote it in about 90 days, then I waited 10 more months and typed it up in another two months, and then I waited seven years and it looks like it will take another two to three months to edit it and put all the end notes together. There's the constant battle with depression that I've been dealing with since 2005, and then nothing can really keep my attention for more than three months at a time, and at least one of those months has to be prep work for the book. On the short short list of books I like to finish before I die is the prequel to Lost Horizon
, which is also a biography of Akbar (we know a lot more about Tibet than Hilton did in the 1920s), and I read like 4,000 pages in preparation for that (in translation, I can't read medieval Persian). I've got about 20,000 words written of that, which is about a quarter of the book. That was in 2015/16. Also on the short list is the God book, which is about 40,000 words done, which is about 1/10 finished.
I really truly started writing long-form in 2001 and in the past 20 years I've written 3 books, and a 90 page comic. And it troubles me, because I can get about a fourth to a third done and then run out of steam. Which is why, when I get something like this where there is a very real possibility that I can finish it and bring it to the public I really have to put all my effort into it and pull these 12 hour days just working on the book. @Officer Hotpants
Didn't you know history is racist? It has to be shklistory to not offend all the shkle/shklim people.