Been a hell of a ride, hasn’t it? Told you guys it would be.
I started this 804 chapter, 3.4 million Chinese character project on May 10, 2014, at SPCNET’s forums, where I was (and still am) a moderator. I had been translating there for many years, and when I saw the popularity of he-man’s Stellar Transformations translation (currently being continued at translationnations.com, so go take a look after reading the early chapters here!), I fell in love with the genre, and started on this project by the same author: I Eat Tomatoes, expecting it to be a 4-5 year project, like many of the old SPCNET translations were.
At first, I translated basically whenever I felt like it, which would be incredibly slow by today’s standards. By December 4, 2014, I had translated up to Book 3, Chapter 8 or so, which was roughly 56 chapters in 6.5 months, ~2 chapters a week; an incredible pace by former standards, although still dwarfed by he-man (bless him, wherever he is). At that time, this lovable, paranoid fellow who named himself TheLeecher (and was anything but) PM’d me on SPCNET, insisting that he wanted to send me a nice donation to both thank as well as ‘encourage’ me to translate faster. As TheLeecher was afraid of his name/details being seen, he insisted on sending Amazon gift cards rather than a donation…and I basically said, ‘sure’, and cranked out a bonus chapter or two in order to thank him.
A cycle had begun, and others scrambled to donate as well. This was far more work than I had bargained for…but I did what I promised, and this resulted in a virtuous (albeit exhausting) cycles of more updates=>more viewers=>more donations=>more updates. On Dec. 22, I formally started Wuxiaworld for Coiling Dragon.
And now, 11.5 months and 748 chapters after Dec. 4th, at an average of 15 chapters/week, for eleven months, here we are. At the end of the road.
Coiling Dragon is now complete. For better or worse, it has completely upended the translation scene, in terms of making more people aware of what translators are ‘worth’, in terms of making taking donations socially acceptable (and thus promoting a virtuous cycle of good translators, but alas, also incentivizing bad ones to jump in for a moneygrub), in terms of bringing the Xianxia/Chinese Fantasy webnovels to the forefront, in terms of changing people’s expectations on what a ‘fast’ translation speed is…and more.
But Coiling Dragon didn’t just change the translation scene; it changed my life, both for the better as well as for the worse. As many of you know, I do have a full-time, professional job that I usually spend an average of 50 hours a week on. When you throw in 15 chapters a week on top of that, which averages out to around ~40 hours (earlier chapters took 3-4 hours/chapter, I’m now doing around 2 hours/chapter)…that means I’ve been doing a 90 hour workweek for nearly an entire damn year, and that’s not even counting the amount of time spent on comments, website maintenance, and more.
Honestly…I’m exhausted. Truly, utterly exhausted. Like Tomatoes before him, RWX, too, needs a good rest. The 90 hour workweek for a year has taken its toll; it’s been rewarding in many ways, both financial and personal, but at the same time, it’s been a killer. I’ve had no social life for a year, I’ve gained ~30 lbs from all that sitting in front of a computer, my right hand cramps at the pinky (from continuous stretching to the ‘shift’) button, I haven’t gone out for a date in ages…the list goes on and on. I tried to not make it too apparent to y’all, but for three or four months now, I’ve essentially been running on fumes, with the main thing keeping me going being the fact that the end was nigh. I giggled hysterically a little each time someone suggested that I was trying to ‘stretch it out’. Good lord…hehe.
And now, it’s over. It’s been an incredible, life-changing year. Thank all of you, each and every one of you, for your love, support, comments, readership, and more. Coiling Dragon is over, but I’m sure there will be other projects I will work on in the future (and I will continue helping out on Desolate Era in IEW’s absence), so this is, dear friends, is farewell but not goodbye. I will take a good, long, rest…and then I’ll be back.
But for now, it is time to hibernate a bit.
Ren Woxing (RWX)
3:00 PM of November 24, 2015.