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bear by san

March 2017

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writing gorey earbrass conscious but ver

post-novel ennui

I'm an odd one, in that my post-novel exhaustion takes a little while--a couple of days--to hit. But man, is it hitting now. I have a headache and I slept right through my alarm this morning, and all I want to do is sit here, surf the internets, and drink Upton's lemon berry tisane.

If you haven't written a book, or if you're one of the lucky writers who doesn't suffer the dread scourge of post-novel ennui (I understand there are a few), it's the state immortalized by Mr. Gorey in the immortal phrase quoted in this icon. (And if you are or want to be a writer, or you live with one, may I recommend Gorey's The Unstrung Harp as the ultimate guide to the care and feeding of same?) A state, more or less, of semi-complete mental and emotional exhaustion brought on by the rather profound cerebral exertion of finishing a book. (Which is not an easy thing to do. If you've ever had the experience of Finals Week, or writing a dissertation, finishing a novel is about the same thing. You wind up wandering around for about a week afterwards forgetting what you were saying in the middle of the sentence, sleeping too much, and putting the crackers away in the freezer.)

I am there now. It's a state comprised of a combination of restlessness, distractibility, and lethargy. And it can be shaken off or postponed, but the debt has to be paid. (Actually, I'm considering taking a crack at some more of that Dust proposal, because I know a bunch of it currently and if I get it done, that means I get to have an actual long-term collapse the sooner, rather than the measly week I have alloted myself now.

Hmm.

After that, my next deadline is April 1, a short novella for an SFBC anthology of space opera edited by Gardner Dozois, and then I have All the Windwracked Stars and Ink & Pen due in early November. I'm guessing the Dust deadline will be earlier than that--assuming Spectra buys it--because Undertow comes out in August and they seem to like to have the next book in hand when the previous one ships.

La.

So, my tentative 2007 schedule, not counting short fiction publications:

Jan 15 - Deliver Dust proposal
April 1 - Deliver "Periastron."
May - New Amsterdam publication (I'm sure there will be galleys and things between now and then, of course)
July - Whiskey & Water publication
August - Undertow publication, deliver Dust
September - A Companion to Wolves publication
November 1 - Deliver Ink & Pen and All the Windwracked Stars
December 31 - I'd like to have "Bone & Jewel Creatures" done by then. 

eeek.

.

Comments

Do you find the Ennui only hits after a novel is "completed?
What does "cpmpleted mean to you?
Do you notice anything after the first draft is written?
I don't think I said anything about completion. A book is complete for a writer, as far as I'm concerned, when you send the page proofs back. That's when it stops being your problem.

I'm usually good and sick of it long before then, of course.

For me, it's the draft that's killer. Although a hardcore revision can be almost as bad.
I finished the first draft of my book back at the beginning of November and since then I've been in a fog. There were other mitigating factors (family health issues) but I haven't been able to pick up the work to start the editing process. I'm daunted. It's 95,000 words. Thanks for your perspective, helps me feel less like I'm the only one.
*g* the good news is, it's normal.

The bad news is, it happens every time.

Editing can be very daunting. Holly Lisle talks a bit about her one-pass revision process. I actually do at least two--the first time through, I go through and twiddle the prose, and while I'm doing that, I make notes of all the things I need to actually fix. (dangling plot threads and so on.) Then I go through and fix all of those.

It's easier than writing a book, anyway. *g*
Oh, yes. Post-novel Ennui makes me cry for a week. Over Oprah and public service announcements from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter Day Saints.
Currently, mine is making my neck hurt. *g*
I finished a novel yesterday and this morning i noticed I was in some sort of funk. So when I read your post, it clicked. Post Novel Ennui. It's not a fun feeling -- I had thought maybe it was Post Christmas Blues, but now that you point it out, I do think I go through this after every book.

Thanks for making me feel less alone with it :)
Welcome to the club, man.

Usually I wake up the next morning and do something frantically, like baking or playing with photoshop. And then three days later I'm just emotionally squished.

It's like coming home to find out your lover has moved out while you were gone, and the closets are all open and the corners are full of dust bunnies.

Writing is hard.

Good news for SOME of us

I like seeing all those "publication" dates, lol.

BTW, I did this strange Dungeon generator meme on my blog and damn if Matociquala the owlbear didn't kill me despite my armor of video games. Clearly you are very dangerous when in a post-novel funk.

Re: Good news for SOME of us

OG SMASH!

*g*
Heh. Before we left for London, I said to my husband, "He had never been the sort of person to whom things happened. Perhaps, on the other side, he would." He didn't get it. :-(
Hee.

Buy him the book!
Oh, we own it, I assure you; he just apparently wasn't as passionate about Gorey as I. He generally caps my quotations.
You're leaving me in the "Dust"...

I second the Unstrung Harp!
(adore the icons, btw)
Jan 15 - Deliver Dust proposal
April 1 - Deliver "Periastron."
May - New Amsterdam publication (I'm sure there will be galleys and things between now and then, of course)
July - Whiskey & Water publication
August - Undertow publication, deliver Dust
September - A Companion to Wolves publication
November 1 - Deliver Ink & Pen and All the Windwracked Stars
December 31 - I'd like to have "Bone & Jewel Creatures" done by then.


... My hate for you knows no bounds. Much like my hate for Samuel R. Delany, as a matter of fact.
Hate him more. *g* He was a child genius. I'm just your garden-variety twenty-year overniht success.
Oh I do, believe you me; the precocious bastard wrote Babel-17 ( bought it three days ago) at age 24, didn't he (don't answer; he did, I did the math)? Guess what age I'll be in 30 days.

As for you ...!

*points shaky finger apoplectically*
*g* I started writing in first grade.

But I didn't sell a novel until I was 32.