I have a confession to make. I pretty much have a bi-publishing personality disorder. When I am actually doing the writing, I am very Zen and love the process to death and am fully immersed. Even when it is hard (and sometimes it is very, very hard) it is still what I would rather be doing than just about anything else. It is a very inward, creativity-centered, process-oriented, live in the now time.
And then I have to hand the manuscript off, whether to beta readers or agents or editors, and that whole centered Zen place just kind of disintegrates before my very eyes. It’s hard to stay Inward when everything else is happening OUT THERE. Suddenly everything that has only ever existed in my head on my computer or notebook, is now out in the world.
It is much like having a first child go off to kindergarten and I cannot help but worry over how he is doing. It is nearly impossible for me to stay inwardly focused when all the next steps in the process are A) happening outside of me and B) out of my control. The truth is, it’s a squirrely, antsy, fidgety mental place to be in.
Oh sure, I know the old adage, throw yourself into the next project, but sometimes that’s not feasible. Sometimes I’m still immersed in the old project, already jotting down ideas for strengthening it, tightening it, revising it, making it better. But even as I do all that, I can only kid myself so much; I keep one eyeball on my inbox, waiting, worrying, wondering, wishing.
And I guess I felt that, as much as I trumpet a Zen and process-focused approach, I also needed to come clean about how I can’t always get there myself. And it’s not so much a do as I say, not as I do kind of thing, but rather while the Zen is what we should aspire to, we can’t always get there, in spite of our best efforts.
Hope you all had a less antsy weekend than I did!