The problem with going through a major editing/revision/release process is that it eats up quite a lot of time I set aside for my writing. It leaves precious little time for any new work unless I sneak some time in during the day. [Which I’m doing right now…this post is being written in the slow moments of my Day Job.]
This makes me twitchy. I want to write something new, but deadlines loom. I don’t mind the editing/revising part of the job, but the longer it takes, the more I have that itch to pick up a notebook and start working on a new project. Not out of avoiding the revision process, but that I start feeling rusty. I feel the need to write new words somewhere, anywhere. My personal journal entries (which I write during my midmorning break) are getting more verbose, and I’ve been blogging like a fiend lately. My brain is clogged with Future Plans for When I’m Caught Up. I’ve got ideas for the Inktober art meme. I have a few stories simmering and a new MU story in stasis.
I believe it’s time for me to get creative with my writing time again.
I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again. When a writer purposely decides to take time off and not write, it definitely feels weird. On the one hand you’re enjoying some mental time off, watching movies or catching up on tv shows, or reading that book you put aside a few months previous, or maybe even just goofing off on the internet for hours at a time. On the other hand, you’re itching to get back to work as soon as possible and work on that next project.
So what have I been doing all week? I mean, aside from goofing off on the internets?
A lot of offline stuff, really. Cleaning the apartment. Doing some shopping. Practicing a bit of guitar playing. Continuing on my daily personal journal. In short, living life outside the Next Book. I even skipped out on updating this blog. Okay, I may have browsed over at Shutterstock to decide on my next cover, but no real work was done. I purposely gave myself a week off to unwind from that crazy five-week blitz of line editing and doing all the backstage work for A Division of Souls, before I jumped in on the probably-longer blitz of line editing and backstage work for The Persistence of Memories. [And there’s also the fact that I will need to continue paying attention to the release of ADoS so I can figure out various ways to promote it.]
It’s not to say I never take an evening off…I definitely have, here and there. A day where I’m feeling under the weather, or just had a shitty day at the Day Job, or whatever. I’m not chained to the writing, I’ve just turned it into a healthy addiction. When I first wrote TPoM back in 2002-3, I was dedicating two hours daily (including weekends, when I’d dedicate more) to writing at least a thousand pages a day. The words just flowed, I was in a good frame of mind, and I wasn’t about to let that pass me by. But I did take a few days off here and there, either to sickness or personal plans, or just plain wanting to take a day off and read comics instead. Sure, it felt odd, but I wasn’t feeling guilty about it.
That said…I’m going to be jumping back into the fire tomorrow. TPoM is nagging at me to be edited (this current version clocks in at 180k words, so I’m sure there’s going to be some serious deletion going on). Added to the ADoS promotion, the cover art, this blog, the Day Job, and maybe even other non-Mendaihu Universe related writing work, I’m going to be a busy little worker bee for the next few months.
On the plus side, I am ecstatic that I was able to get this all done well under deadline — and almost a full week early at that. I can calm my nerves a bit, catch my breath. Maybe pick up some of the other minor projects that fell by the wayside. Relax, play a few games of FreeCell, goof off with my mp3 collection for a bit.
Or, y’know, I can spend my time figuring out how the heck I’m going to promote the book. There’s always that. I’ve already made a few strides on that.
Or start working on the Final Edit and cover for The Persistence of Memories. It’s a toss-up.
Seriously, right now I feel guilty for taking a break. I’ve put so much energy and time into getting ADoS out on time that I’m not quite sure what to do with myself. Part of me is still wound up and wants to jump headlong into editing the next book (which probably won’t be available for at least a few months at most anyway). There’s also the voice in the back of my head quietly reminding me that I still have to continue work on the new Mendaihu book, because it ain’t gonna finish itself. And lastly, there’s the voice of reason humbly requesting that I take a break for once in my damn life an not feel guilty about it.
And lastly, I have fifteen days before the drop date of 3 September, in which I have to resist temptation to edit the book even more, even though technically it’s out of my hands now.
All I can really do is wait at this point.
[NOTE: For those playing along, yes, I would totally want Fleur & Manu, the directors of this video, to direct the film version of the book.]