Friday, November 12, 2010
In sexual terms we call it the afterglow. In less creepy terms, it's the calm after the storm, the recovery, the disarming lull that settles in once you've completed something that felt monumental.
Having written three (rather shoddy) books, I'll tell you this right now; when it's done I feel a distinct emptiness in my chest. I'm pretty lucky in the fact that I can put in two to four hours of writing a day, but it's not always the most productive - some days I get 6k words, others I get 500.
When I start typing out the very end, the epilogue or the last few words, it's always a teary time for me. The ending might not be particularily sad (but being me, it is always sad) but I am still real emotionally volatile. This being my third time going through the process, I'm able to pinpoint it now - I get touchy because I no longer know if what I did was right.
I begin questioning myself; did my material deserve more than what I gave it? Did I shape the clay accurately after the dream, so to speak.
(Writers aren't artists, but that is a discussion for another day.)
Inevitably, I make peace with myself but the nagging emptiness remains. I want to write again, and I make slipshod plots in the notes section of my phone while running errands or checking into work - I want to be writing again as soon as possible, please and thank you.
I think it's an addiction.
It's taking a bit of a tax on my social life. It's hard enough to have a social life on a cesspool island like this, but in all honesty I'd rather be writing than grabbing coffee with people I don't know well enough to like. This is how it's been since I was little - it was just disguised. I had notebooks filled with dragon gods and maps of worlds. (So did everyone else, it seems, but you understand.)
Writing is not the only path in my life, but it's the only one that matters to me.
Maybe my passion does not equal my output. Maybe what I produce doesn't reflect what I feel for it, and if it doesn't then that's the only true failing I'll admit to.
When I'm not writing, I want to be writing, and that's all there is to it. Maybe I'm mentally unwell?
This is not to say the real world holds no interest for me - it very much does. I have no illusion of being a creator of worlds, or an artist. When a story leaves me as a finished manuscript, I feel very empty and immediately scrabble to fill the hole with another endeavor. I feel like I'm wasting time if I'm not churning out words.
I don't know what it is, really. I'm just happy to be alive and writing.
Querying is terrifying and an exhausting process. I would rather write seven more books than query one. But it's one of those things you have to do!
who likes bourbon?