When I get incredibly anxious, as I have been recently, I begin to doubt. Myself. My work. My voice. Then I shut down. I simply have no interest in communicating because I’m afraid what I might say. That I might reveal too much.
And this is what I have been anxious about and holding onto: I won’t have a book out in 2015.
That’s it, which I know is pretty ridiculous. Many authors do not publish a book a year. And so many unpublished authors would kill for my “problem”. Yet, at the same time, if it shut me down, I need to give it attention and not merely rationalize the feelings away.
I have spent close to two years working on LOOK PAST. It’s been downright exhausting, because I’ve had to push myself so very far as a writer. From interviews to research to simple plotting, the novel has high demands. And then this past summer, after receiving excellent advice from my agent, I rewrote the entire manuscript.
That rewrite paid off, because that is the version that sold. But it has sold with a caveat. The manuscript is due for yet another a massive overhaul, which is why you won’t see it until 2016.
Recently, after announcing the sale, I’ve had much congratulations, which I’ve enjoyed, but I am so thankful for my one friend, who after realizing I wouldn’t be releasing a book this upcoming fall, asked, “Are you okay with that?” He understood. I’ve been on a roll, and the momentum has helped fuel me. And now?
It’s a mere bump in the road, I’m sure. But from this juncture, eighteen months feels like an unplanned detour.
I’m coming around to the idea, and know it is for the best, but it’s been mentally taxing. Fortunately, writing is great therapy for me. So while I’ve been riddled with doubt, I’ve been writing. Just last week I finished the first draft of a novel that forced me to dig even deeper as a writer than I had to with LOOK PAST.
So, my takeaway is that maybe this is what happens when you push hard and you get way outside your comfort zone. It takes a little bit longer to assimilate all that has been learned. I’m holding onto that, now, instead of my anxieties, and know I will still enjoy fall of ’15, just not nearly as much as I will fall of ’16.