Postpartum Novel Blues (and Woolbur!)September 2, 2009
Oh, the annoying angst of it all.
There should be a word for the postpartum novel blues. Granted, I didn't actually give birth and my body didn't change physiologically (whew!). But this book took nine months, total. (It only took six months to write and revise which I am pretty proud of, since there was SUCH MASSIVE REVISION, as I believe I might have mentioned in passing before, but there were three months in the middle during which I was working on edits of Book One at the same time, so I wasn't working on Book Two at all. (Gah, what an awkward sentence. And I'm a writer?) But still, to go with my metaphor, the second novel had been conceived in a fit of Nanowrimo passion and was gestating during those months.
Ew. Now I can just imagine my book in my tummy (NO NOT MY WOMB GET THE METAPHORICAL BOOK OUT OF THERE) and it's kind of icky in an Aliens kind of way.
Great. Now I'm angsty, postpartum-ey, and grossed-out. All at the same time.
I'm bummed I finished my book. Nine months later, I sent it out into the world. I don't get it back. I don't get to keep it. (I'm GLAD about that. Yes. But still. It's a strange, empty ache that's stupid, yet real. Dumb. Inexplicable. I should stop trying to explic, already.)
I was so freaked out by Book Two. I can't really tell you how scared I was. The first book could have been a fluke, you know? I wrote a book good enough to get an agent and a book contract, but could I pull it off again? Really? Write a book that was a real book another time? Write The End and mean it? Believe in it myself?
And then I did.
That means a couple of things:
Number One: I am a writer. I think I really know that now. No more fear of the sophomore slump.
Number Two: Book Three is just exciting to look forward to. I have none of the fear, and all of the fun ahead of me. I started a bit of it this morning, just a couple of hundred words. I just splashed my toes. Just because I could.
Number Three: These postpartum blues make me a cranky-ass beeyotch the likes of which I don't want to be around much longer and there is only one cure, and my agent Susanna knew it, and I didn't, and it arrived in the mail today:
Don't be afraid to be yourself! That's the message of Woolbur, and my little chickens, it's the best book. There's carding! Spinning! Weaving! Dyeing! And Woolbur does it ALL wrong, and oh, so right. He makes it all work for him, because he believes in himself.
It was exactly the reminder I needed. I just re-read for the fourth time and it cheered me right up. Again. I'm just right. So are you.
Book Three, here I come.
(And as of tomorrow morning, I'll be offline for about five days -- no phone, no internet, out in the wilds. Enjoy your long weekend, all. xo)