Breaking Up With Trent: Finishing The Animal
TODAY’S BREW: Coffee, coffee, more coffee until my heart screeches and my fridge begs me to stop taking out the creamer because I always knock something over.
I FINISHED WRITING THE ANIMAL.
Yup, yesiree Robert.
This happened on Monday, when Kristen and I have our first writing date of the week. We have another on Friday, but tend to drink a lot more on Monday. (This time it involved events like “I bet we can still do back bends.” We can. We totally can.) But we’re all business, too and I knew this was the night I would write the last chapter of The Animal. Nothing stops me.
Disbelief on Tuesday morning. Then JESUS MARY MOTHER OF GOD I DID IT AGAIN I WROTE ANOTHER BOOK. And then, it happened.
I had post partum word baby depression. I felt like I broke up with my manuscript.
I decided to force myself not to write anything Tuesday. I don’t even know why, but I know I should step back, let ideas well up. That’s what people do, right? I played with the kids a lot, read some stuff, relaxed, but I kept thinking about Trent. Had I done right by him? I couldn’t listen to Blood Red Shoes all day, because Lost Kids somehow became one of Trent’s theme songs. It hurt to think of listening to it. When I broke down and did it, I had to go to Ghetto Gym to work off my angst.
This all felt good. Really good. While every other writer I know agonizes over what their characters tell them to do, I always tell my characters what to do. I am the boss. They work for me. To miss Trent this way, showed me that my creations are more than my employees.
SIDE NOTE: TO ANY OF MY FORMER EMPLOYEES, YOU WERE NOT “JUST” MY EMPLOYEES. Jeez.
Also, I learned that it is not in me to need a break from writing. If I need a break, something is wrong with me. Before I finished The Animal, I knew that I would dive right into querying Running Home. I can only give attention to one of them at a time, this is the other thing I now know. My needs are to totally immerse myself in one project, with side salads of short stories. That’s my thing. But I can’t ever stop. Not ever.
I AM NOT A DUST COLLECTOR.
And neither is my work. I will not have a book that sits. I wrote it for a reason. Running Home is having its time again, while I give Trent and The Animal the space it deserves. We’re just on a break, this isn’t for good.
THERE IS AN URGENCY IN WRITING. IT IS NOT MEANT TO BE DONE OVER FOREVER AND IGNORED LONGER.
So you all know what I’m doing, and that I do, indeed have a plan, I’m querying my first novel now. Again. Because I got scared and stopped before. In two weeks I will redraft The Animal and give it out for beta reads. In the meantime, I will be doing short stories for submission and for the blog. I have a story going up tomorrow on Josh Hewitt’s blog for his World’s End series, a sci fi bit that’s different for me, no matter how much sci fi I read.
Know this. I won’t stop writing, I won’t give myself a break. Writing is my break. And breaking up is too hard to do for me to rest.