The Lull

It’s a funny thing about finishing a book.  The relief is tremendous.  The follow-up work is long and cumbersome (but worth it).  And then comes the lull.  That bittersweet time when you can actually catch up on your sleep, your meals, your family, your friends, your reading– your life.

Why bittersweet?  Because, for me, I’m happiest when I’m writing.  Don’t get me wrong.  I hate the pressure at deadline time, when I’m a fizzled-out excuse for a human being.  I hate when the ideas don’t come and the writing doesn’t flow.  I hate the self-doubt of hoping that the book is as good as I aspired to.  And I love typing the words “THE END.”

But then there’s that void.  It comes with all the guilt of knowing I should be cleaning my office, going food shopping, straightening up the house, and doing all those other chores I vowed to do the minute I felt humanoid again.  It also comes with a sense of loss– like my child grew up and is ready to stand on its own two feet.  I’m thrilled– but I miss my “baby”, all at once.

And then comes the daunting task of starting all over again.  The dreaded Page 1.  The masterpiece I’m supposed to create from a jumble of good ideas and equally good intentions.  So how do I unwind and relax when my brain is already three steps ahead of me, worrying about its next challenge and, at the same time, chomping at the bit to get started?

I think that, through writing this blog entry, I came to the fact that there is no lull at all.  It’s just another step in the process, probably my least favorite because I’m not actively DOING something.  But my brain is.  It NEVER shuts down.  Vacations don’t work.  Sleep doesn’t work.  Distractions don’t work.  Let’s face it.  I’m not happy unless I’m immersed in writing a book.

So I guess I’d better get some sleep now, because I’ll be back at the computer in no time!