Sometimes you just gotta channel the Dude, and abide. It’s probably time for me to go visit Emphysema Joe and get some advice. Or even just sit for a bit, now that it’s not -20 outside. They’re even saying some sun today.
And why, may you ask, am I contemplating spending time out in my backyard talking to a resin statue of a pothead undead gnome? No real reason, I guess, except I found out the numbers on a certain series had plummeted, and as a result, well, the last three months of work might have been for naught. Publishing’s a funny business. You spend months waiting for some indication, any indication, of what the hell’s happening. You get so used to delayed gratification, and you also get used to the perceived helplessness of not knowing what the fuck for months at a time.
Of course, as the author, it sends me down into a spiral of “what did I do wrong? Did I somehow make the book suck? Have I run out of stories? I was excited, I gave it my all, but am I blind? Is it just a big pile of suck? Is my career over? If it is, how do I pay the mortgage? AUGH!”
You get the idea. Pretty much everything in a writing career seems designed to turn even the most well-balanced and sane of people into a neurotic mess. And of course, being not the best example of sane (come on, I am still chortling over an undead sorcerous hamster) I get tipped into a raging whirlpool of self-doubt, second-guessing, panic, and outright terror.
Nothing’s been decided yet, of course. I’ll probably get a call from my agent later today, and she’ll probably chide me for worrying, as she so often does. She’ll reassure me, and I’ll feel marginally better for a while. But the panic will still return at weird moments.
I love my job, but I’m not blind to its pitfalls. The knife of Not Looking Away cuts both ways more often than not.
So, if anyone needs me, I’ll be out in the backyard with the dogs, talking to Emphysema Joe.