I can remember in the lead up to my wedding, wondering briefly what we’d talk about after the wedding took place. For months, that was all we talked about, and everything else got shunted off and back burnered. And after the wedding, it almost felt off to not be talking about it. But then two months later, I found out I was pregnant with my first child, and then next thing I knew, it was nine years later, I had three kids, and was writing this blog.
I finished the second draft of Searching for Ellen last night. And then sent my editor an email with the words, “Are you ready?” written in them. When he responded with, “Are you?” (he’s nothing if not awesome for just taking my odd quirks as part of the fun that is me), I sent him the word .doc and then cried for about an hour.
I’m relieved to be finished with this part of the process. And while the length of the book qualifies it as a novella, still, my experience with writing and publishing my work has been in poetry, autobiographical essay, erotica short stories, and fiction short stories. For me, its a bit of a strange twist to actually have written something that’s the same story throughout.
And I’m thrown a bit by the idea that I won’t be getting it back any time soon. Certainly, I’m very welcoming to the idea of a break from a book I started thirteen years ago, not to mention a book that was emotionally draining. But the benefit of writing short story collections is that you can complete one, send it off to your editor, and you get it back within a day or two. You go onto the next one, whenever you get to it, and the cycle is repeated until you have enough stories to compile and then publish. Poetry is different as in you’re not being edited due to the fact there aren’t that many rules in poetry. And since my poetry doesn’t follow any set pattern and is just what’s written across my soul transferred to a word .doc, if I did send the work to an editor, it was for a proof reading purpose.
So now, thirteen years and two days post starting the book, I wonder what to do with myself. Who am I if I’m not writing Searching, rewriting it, annoying my Indie Author friends with can you please read this, or talking about writing it.
Well, for starters, I’m exhausted. And I also have four other WIP’s that I’ve neglected in an effort to finish off the most important book I will ever write. I think I’ll take the day to hang out with a dear friend, and then tomorrow? I think I’ll have a cup of coffee and work on another book.
Or maybe I”ll just breathe.
I had similar feelings sending my first novel off to edit. I’d first written it as a short story in 1998, started the novel process in 2004. Finishing it was a long time coming, and once I shipped it off, even though I had one other WIP and one ‘most important book I will write’ waiting in my head and an often neglected blog, I felt lost. So I forced myself to write a couple of short stories and picked at my WIP until I got the edits back.
When they were done I hit the NaNo ground running! Third book, that important one, now has a head start of 50K words. One thing I’ve vowed since my writing fire truly lit in August 2011 is to not go one day without writing something. Any progress is good. I don’t want my second (or third or fourth) book to take fifteen years!
Oh, and breathing. Yes, breathing helps.
I had a similar feeling of loss a couple of weeks ago. It was very unsettling and I might have turned to some very sad guinea pig memorial videos on YouTube, to justify a less than manly release. I mean, have you ever watched one of them, the little guy happily playing and then the caption comes up, “Roderick was the best guinea pig EVER. RIP”. It gets me every time, but I digress.
I started a novel on Dec 2, 2012 on my blog, as I so often do, but this one wasn’t part of my normal Henry Wood series. I just wrote 500 words of different, because I felt like it. The response led to another chapter and then before I knew it I was off and running. About 20,000 words in, I found out about the Breakout Novel contest on Amazon, so I decided to enter Touched, which still needed at least 30,000 more words. On Jan 17 I finished, having gotten friends to help edit along the way, and uploaded it for the contest at just over 60,000 words.
To say I had devoted all of my writing grey cells to that book over that six weeks, was an understatement. It consumed me and when it was done, I was lonely. I really missed finding out what the characters were going to do next. I even missed the serial killer and his antics. It made me sad to be done.
A week later I was still unsettled by the loss of my writing project, so I started “Underwood Scotch and Wry” and after nine days, I’m not lonely anymore. For me, writing solves almost any ill.
Good luck with your 4 WIPS.