I hold in my hands the official “proof” paperback copy of my novel! Last week, I triumphed over Kindle formatting (go me! I even got the Table of Contents up and working) and this week, I’m eyeballing the paperback before I give the go-ahead for it to go on sale at Amazon.com. It’s exciting! By next week, I’ll have a contest up and running so you can win one of three autographed paperback copies, but in the meantime, I get to sit and peruse it, read it one last time (I almost have it memorized)… and then move on to another project?
Creativity-wise, I’m pretty close to being tapped for awhile. A friend tried to tempt me with a role-play that had all kinds of insane potential and I looked at it and there wasn’t a creative thought in my head. I sometimes wonder if this is a symptom of depression or just exhaustion… technically, I’ve written and revised over 300 thousand words in the last nine weeks (I’ve completely rewritten two novels, and half-finished a nonfiction work). Yet, writing is such an integral part of my internal makeup that facing a blank page and having a blank mind to go with it creates a kind of emotional panic.
Something I’m slowly coming to learn is that writing can be as emotionally exhausting for an Introvert as spending time with people – because technically, not only are you spending hours upon hours with your characters, you’re also carrying all the dialogue! Imagine having a five hour conversation with yourself, in which you have to keep up momentum and guide it where it needs to go… through emotion, misunderstandings, and other turmoil. That would wear out any Introvert, right?
Part of me has another fiction novel in the planning stages… to the point where I wrote out an entire mind-map of the characters and events. Yet, when faced with a blank page, I can’t start it. I can’t get my mind in gear. Just thinking about all the research makes me want to crawl into a hole and die. This worried me for awhile, until I realized I’m tired… and I’m preoccupied. I’ve never been a multi-tasker, I choose one project and see it through to the end. Well, I’m in the middle of three massive writing projects at the moment (and that doesn’t even include four more issues of Femnista this year), so clearly my mind is screaming at me “stop! finish revising the other books first! then we’ll get to business and you can spend six months researching like you really love to do!” (I do thrive on research. I’m a dork like that.)
Minds like mine get cluttered… and until I put various projects behind me, I can’t move forward.
I think many of us are like that. We work fine with crossing things off lists as we get them done, but we constantly want to barge ahead of ourselves rather than finishing what we’ve started. Many of us have great ideas but not the mental energy to get to them, or unfinished projects sitting in boxes around the house. It’s good for us to focus, to have patience, to plan to write this or that in the future, but we need to also enjoy the moment, the process. That’s hard for me, since I’m always looking forward to the next thing.
So I’m going to slow down this weekend. I’m going to enjoy looking at my book, feeling the pages, being pleased with how the cover turned out. I’m not going to rush my read-through. Writing it was good. Being finished is good. But I also need to slow down and enjoy it.