The Wonky, Bleary, Staticky Aftereffects of Novel Completion

I have not been all here, ever since finishing my novel and turning it in earlier this month. I thought I would be. I thought the day after I hit Send would be this great, calm day where all the rest of life would fall completely into place. That I’d have a real handle on my life by now. My apartment would be cleaned out, my years’ worth of old papers sorted and weeded out and shredded and recycled so we can move, my schedule lock-tight, where my hours of freelance work alternate easily with my hours of creative work, and there’s still time for dishes in between. I didn’t accomplish that. We won’t be moving just yet, for one, and I have a lot left to organize. And I feel like I’m in this high state of anxiety at most points of the day—and having freelance work to focus on is actually a solid, much-needed distraction.

How can I not be together by now? I wrote the novel. I sent it in. I should be okay by this point, don’t you think?

I’m not sure if I’ll reach that together stage this month. My birthday is approaching on a day I won’t mention, and I know I should celebrate, but it’s hard to not let that day be the worst day of the year. E’s birthday is tomorrow, and I love his birthday! So that’s what I’m looking forward to (and we’ll be married we think four years Monday). Then on Saturday, like I said below, I’ll be doing a reading in the Hudson Valley, so I won’t be home. Then I get home and it’s March, and I have three freelance projects due, one after another after another. Then it’s mid-March and I basically have two weeks before I leave for a month at Yaddo. How will I get my head straight at any point between now and then? Maybe Yaddo will do it. Being away from TV and internet and city noise—and missing my E terribly—being so far removed from my regular life for four entire weeks, only me and the other artists and the trees up there and whichever novel I’m working on, and I don’t even know which one it’ll be yet… Maybe.

Or maybe I won’t be together until I get home in May.

4 responses to “The Wonky, Bleary, Staticky Aftereffects of Novel Completion”

  1. Camille says:

    I totally know how you feel. I turned in my novel over a year ago now and I’m STILL flailing about (workwise, everything-wise). I think I’m *almost* ready to commit to a new idea, and oh, will I feel relieved once I know for sure! I really want to use my time at Yaddo to get my head together, in every respect.

    Oh, and I must confess that I pulled a Dani Noir and found your birthday on Facebook. :}

  2. Meeks Harlan says:

    Well said. Speaking only for myself, I can’t say as I ever feel like I’ve got it all together.

  3. […] and it’s been more a struggle than a lovely thing to do in the morning. As always, I defer to real writers for whom it must be even more intense. For them, I cannot even fathom what it must be like. But I’m plugged into at least a bit of […]

  4. Bryan Bliss says:

    I was thinking about this as I dropped my kids off at school. I feel like I’m in this constant state of fast forward. But as I was pulling out of the parking lot, I thought: “Yeah, but it’s worth it.” While I am very big on downtime and naps and days when I don’t have to change out of my t-shirt and jeans, I also know that this typhoon of craziness is all part of what makes me happy.

    I don’t want to speak for you, but I think – maybe – we’ll both look back at these crazy times and think: “Man, that was great.”

    Or maybe not!

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