|No significance whatsoever to thumbtack in New York|
I'm still struggling with the fact that it's August.
I was going to write about the weirdness of the month, but who am I kidding? It's the weirdness of the year--and more weirdness ahead. This has been a year of many changes. And it's not so much that I planned for them as they just seemed to come upon me. Me and the Lady of Shalott.
I seriously underestimated how distracting and time-consuming--all consuming--this move would be. Because it's not just about where I hang my hat. Buying a new house at this point in my life is kind of commitment to...well maybe not forever, but a foreseeable future. It has to do with long term financial decisions, which by default have to do with long term creative decisions.
Many, many changes. And while I am eager for them, embracing them, change is a tiring thing. Change is movement, and movement requires energy, and energy is not inexhaustible. That's not a revelation, or it shouldn't be, but yet it always comes as a shock to me that I can't do as much as I think I can.
I'm a slow learner on that point.
Anyway, Jefferson Blythe, Esquire is now in lines. So that's exciting because as usual, when I'm in the rough draft phase I always believe I can never possibly finish the book. Maybe some day it will be true. It is weird how much I LOATHE writing during the phase of rough draft. I mean hate it with a passion.
Which is funny given that in the dreaming, planning stage, I am totally in love with writing and the book and the characters. Then it begins. Then I hate the book, the characters, writing, my life, whoever the hell got me into this, etc. It is effing torture. I am not exaggerating. I hate writing a rough draft. Some more than others, but always without fail, I hate writing a rough draft.
Nearly as much as I love the initial planning and dreaming about the book. And nearly as much as I love the editing process.
During the rough draft phase, I feel like English is a second language. I feel like I'm brain damaged. And then comes editing. And suddenly I speak English again. Suddenly I've made a miraculous recovery and I remember how the world -- and words -- work.
It's pretty weird. And I don't know that it works for most writers like this. I do know that it has not been a spectacularly productive year for me. But life is settling down again. Sort of. Still plenty to come. Scotland, for one thing. Cannot. Wait. As much as I dread traveling.
Next year will be a very different year for a lot of reasons, but I feel good about it. I feel calm. Fatalistic? I don't know.
Anyway, on Monday I'm doing a joint multi-part blog with my writing chum L.B. Gregg called THIS IS NOT YOUR MOTHER'S PUBLISHING CAREER, wherein we discuss how much things have changed in today's vibrant and competitive (AKA enormously stressful) publishing environment). It's not so much that we have great advice for anyone because what advice can anyone give in a tornado beyond HOLD ON!!! This is the new normal.
We'll start out over at Love Bytes, continue the conversation at L.B.'s and finish up over here. Your comments and insights are encouraged!