Monday, August 30, 2010

The 'What Now' Syndrome

"Papa, when he was about my age. Taking a break from writing in Paris during the big war against Nazi aggression."

Do any of you writers feel a cold droplet of sweat run down the spine of your back when you complete a big a draft of a new novel? I know I do. I'll be a sad son of bitch but I just can't I explain it, other than I must be a little bit warped in the head. or so my ex-wives remind me on a daily basis.

Shouldn't the completion of a new book send me seeking out my cell phone to call my travel agent? Come to think of it, I just did that. But what I mean is, shouldn't I be looking forward to relaxing a little? You know, sleeping in a little, having a couple drinks? Take in some fishing? A movie or two? A couple of nice dinners out with my girlfriend? A trip to somewhere exotic?

I guess it all has to do with the "what now" syndrome. Like Hemingway once said, in this writing business chuck full of highly critical academic jerks, you're never judged on what you have done, but always what you are doing.

Therefore, while I have a long rewrite to look forward to on my new project The Dead Souls, I am now scrambling to work on something else first. The lucky winner will probably be the second in the, Dick Moonlight, Moonlight Falls, series, or Moonlight Rises.

Hey, I shouldn't be complaining. My new books, like The Remains, are bestsellers. I've just signed two new contracts for two more books with my new publisher. Plus I now have a movie scout. I remember when, not too long ago, I used to complete a novel and wait for the onslaught of the "big quiet."There was no money coming in and my wife use to hang me in effigy out on the front lawn (Course now that I'm just a tad more successful she's been on-again/off-again hinting about a reconciliation. I wonder how her boyfriend feels about that!).

Times have changed. I make my living as a full-time writer. But one thing hasn't changed. I want to always be working on something. Writing is who I am and what I'm all about as a human being. Some people might think this wrong. That I should be a father, a husband, a citizen, or what have you first. But I choose to be a writer first. I can't imagine myself living any other way.

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