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Monday, October 24, 2011

Between Books

Nothing prepares you for life between books. You are in a void. When writing a book you occupy the very pleasant world of that particular novel. You literally live in the book and life continues outside of it in a hazy distance. But then the books ends and you wait on your publisher or agent or whoever is involved in the process and you turn to all the things you have put off. For the first week you feel free and go after those tasks like the prisoner unleashed.

By the second week you hit the wall. You don't quite know what to do. You can't start another book because thee current one could come back with revisions. Some authors like to work on several books at once. I am not one of them. So you try and structure your day to make sense and get all those life things accomplished. But without the framework of the novel to order your day, you simply have lost your raison detre and you drift.

It is noon and you have cut the grass. Or spackled a hole. Or chalked the bathroom. That's it. Financial matters yawn before you that are immense. These require time and sitting in front of the computer. You go back to spackiling the hole in the ceiling. These tasks lose their manual labor appeal. A rodent is lose in the basement. You and the dog go down to hunt for the elusive chipmunk for several hours. The dog is interested but then finds old cookie crumbs and becomes sidetracked. The chipmunk is nowhere to be found. It is now late afternoon.

Dinner and the kids appear on the horizon. You should read something but reading has lost it's appeal without the novel to back it up. You don't feel like you will ever write again. Your mind just isn't there anymore. It's amazing you ever wrote anything. How did you do that? Tomorrow you will get a jump on the day. You will get up early and attack financial matters, clean the office, clean the garage, and then....then...

Books by William Hazelgrove