it's a great life, if you don't weaken (matociquala) wrote,
it's a great life, if you don't weaken

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Advanced Writer Brain Atrophy

So here I sit, researching NYC in 1962 and wondering if I can somehow shoehorn a warrior goldfish into a story about the Beats making the Lower East Side safe for communism. Warning: do not mix Chester Anderson, trips to the koi pond at Balboa Park, Ed Sanders, and the Man From UNCLE. Contents under pressure may explode.

So, there are things About this writing gig that are hard to understand until one experiences them. And which I do sincerely wish had been mentioned in the information packet.

I'm actually experiencing one of those now: the soldierly annoyance of hurry up and wait.

This is going to sound a lot like bitching, I fear--and on one level it is, although I'm certainly not looking for sympathy, nor do I really think I deserve sympathy. I am very fortunate to be where I am right now with regard to my writing and publication, and I know it, and I'm excited and I treasure being here.

Essentially, I am in a dead spot right now. I'm pending. I can't start my third draft of Worldwired until I hear back from various readers about it, and I can't hand it in to my editor until I do those revisions (No kidding, right?), and I can't hand in my option novel until Worldwired is accepted. But, by the same token, I can't really work on Whiskey & Water too much until I know if Blood & Iron will be accepted, or if it will need heavy revisions... because it's foolish to write a sequel to a book that may change extensively.

But I have got to do something, because what happens when I'm not concentrating on a project is that I start to fret. Because, you see, at this point, how well Hammered does is largely out of my hands. I'll do a couple of signings (on my own nickel), I'll try to find whatever creative ways to market I can, but what happens next is that people either buy the book and like it and tell their friends... or they don't.

If (a), I have a career. If (b), I have a problem. A potentially very large problem.

And there is not a goddamned thing I can do about it for the next three and three-fourths months. Except try not to think about it. It's like the week between finals and the results being posted, writ large.

Which is one reason why I've been working on One-Eyed Jack, although I really need another unsold fantasy novel right now like I need a hole in the head. Because I was doing okay while I was still working like a fiend to meet my deadlines and contracts--but now I'm twiddling my thumbs.

I know, I know. 97% of the writers on the planet would kill to have this particular nugget of stress. And I'm not complaining. Really. Fretting, sure, I'm fretting like a fretting thing. And will be for the next four months. Forecast: fretting with incipient moody, and longing for distraction.

But would it be too much to ask for me to know whether my book's going to tank, already?

There. Consider that a public service announcement for everybody reading this who will someday sell a novel. Now another writer has warned you about the waiting-in-the-trenches-for-the-shelling-to-start part of the process.

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