Today I took my plan for the revision I just finished down from the wall and put the plan for the book I’m drafting back up on the wall. I moved all the books, papers, and notebooks for the finished revision off of my desk and piled all the stuff for the new book in their place. I pulled all the notecards and pictures down from the blinds and put up all the new notecards and pictures.
Then I spent the next several hours stomping around the house with a storm cloud over my head, checking email, sending texts, playing Splash on my phone, reading the news, knitting, eating rice pudding, worrying needlessly about any unrelated thing that came to mind, and basically doing anything I could to avoid having to look at the book plan for the new book. I JUST DON’T WANT TO KNOW. I wrote in an email to some friends, “I truly don’t understand why I ever thought writing a book was a good idea. BLECH BLECH BLECH. BOOKS ARE JUNK.”
I have three published books, two contracted books in revisions, two uncontracted manuscripts that are too awful ever to be published, and this new book I’m trying to get back into. This new book is the eighth book I’ve ever endeavored to write. Therefore, I know from experience that today was normal. Tomorrow, I’ll probably get myself to reread the book plan for the new book. Parts of it will give me indigestion and other parts will make me SO HAPPY. Shortly after that, I’ll get myself to reread what I’ve written of the book so far. Parts of it will strike me as horrifyingly awful and other parts will make me SO HAPPY. The parts that make me happy will get me excited about the book again and determined to fix the crappy stuff, enough to start moving forward. Everything will be okay.
For the moment, though, I’m giving up, because writing a book is pretty much the stupidest idea I ever had.
Dear writers: I thought I’d share, in case this is the sort of day you’re having, too.
(PS: Thanks to Ethan, a two-year-old who helped me write this post.)