Today I’m doing one of the hardest things I’ll do all year. I’m putting my current work-in-progress on the shelf at the 50,000-word mark in order to complete one more draft of my previous 110,000-word novel. Beyond the anxiety of abandoning some beloved characters right before something terrible happens to one of them, there’s the anxiety of having two weeks to return this book and turn out the new draft.
All the beta and theta readers have returned their copies, the family is out of the house, and in mid-July the ChiCon workshops open for submissions. If I’m lucky I’ll have this book in front of three incredible authors for a sit-down in September.
On the plus side, the feedback has been pretty glowing and I know how to accommodate just about everything. Every individual criticism, that is. In writing both of these novels I’ve found the biggest anxiety actually comes from an irrational sense of scope, of looking at the mountain of work rather than the individual bits. I know I can do all of this, I have done all of this before, and yet my lizard brain views it as impossible. It seems like the hardest thing in the world.
Of course, five minutes calling my cousin Will or looking up the latest from Syria disproves that notion. But it’s a notion.
I’ll apologize in advance of some Bathroom Monologues in the next few weeks are inspired by a book you can’t read yet, or if my Twitter feed turns into a stream of consciousness on the process. Feel free to jab me if I devolve too rapidly.
And thank you all, in earnest, for your support. I think I’m pretty close to rendering this the best thing I’ve ever written.