Burning Hot

I play Lord of the Rings Online and I love it. I have a top-level loremaster and a mid-level champion. Derek has tried to get me into many different video games, but other than Plants vs. Zombies, LOTRO is the only one that's stuck, and for good reason: I love Tolkien. And the game does a great job of honoring the lore. Plus the setting of the game is beautiful and there's an endless amount of stuff to do. For example, right now it's the 5th anniversary festival and I'm gonna get me a fireworks horse if it's the last thing I do.

In LOTRO, the hunter class can do something called "Burn Hot" in which they use a ton of power to do a ton of damage. I know about this because as a loremaster, I have a skill which can replenish other characters' power, and hunters who burn hot often ask for more.) Burning Hot is a high risk, high reward kind of thing.

For the past three weeks, I have been Burning Hot with my novel. I have been working every single day, with the occasional one-day weekend break, and I have not allowed myself to get distracted with anything else. It's been hard because I've had family drama coming from three different directions, a house that Derek and I almost bought, and Derek's 30th birthday party, which I'm trying to plan. For the most part, I have given up swimming, video games, flower arranging, cooking, cleaning, and reading. I have eight different beta readers working on Safira.

UPDATE 7/6/17: That's too many beta readers.

I've been trying to stay ahead of them while simultaneously weaving their feedback into the manuscript to make it better. The book is getting better - of that, I am certain. But the high risk hasn't exactly paid off. I wanted to do the whole "Burn Hot" thing for one month, then I wanted to query and get back to enjoying life. Well, three weeks in, and I'm barely halfway through the novel.

Burning Hot fizzled to an end this past Wednesday. For two nights in a row, I could barely sleep. I felt feverish and restless and my mind was so exhausted that even watching Seinfeld was a strain. Derek called me "Zombie Wife" on more than one occasion. It was the insomnia that finally convinced me to stop. I like to sleep and the fact that I couldn't was more depressing than the idea that I wasn't going to meet my own deadline for the book. So I stopped working. I sent out a batch of five chapters to my betas Wednesday night and I haven't opened the MS since. On Thursday, I went to the Flower Mart downtown, took a long shower and a nap, and played LOTRO. By the time Derek got home, I was smiling and my brain was no longer a spiraling nightmare.

I'm still bummed that I won't get to query the novel next week. Frankly, I don't know when I'll be done. I swear, if it gets to the end of May and I'm not finished, I'm querying anyway. I intend to get back to work on Monday - maybe work at 90% of what I was doing before - and chip away continuously.

Here's what I've learned from this experience:

  1. This, too, shall pass -- hopefully soon -- and
  2. Burning Hot is a pretty bad technique. I will remember this if I ever play a hunter.