Archive for May, 2011

Post Partum Tristesse

Wednesday, May 11th, 2011

It would be very nice to feel that one could cheat fate, and avoid the inevitable low that comes after one has completed an acceptable full draft of a novel, and is about to begin the copy editing process. But it seems one can’t. Or at least I can’t. After all, one’s editor is happy - one is nominally happy oneself. But instead one feels bereft and unanchored - lost, mooring free, and coasting on a lee shore. One is standing on two stools, legs akimbo, weight evenly balanced between this novel and the next. But the lacuna is too great - the gap too wide to scissor. I feel like a surprised cat - you know, when they open their mouths and stare at you with their eyes wide open. Or at least that’s how my cat looks when I catch him unawares.

One responds by desperately finding things to do but not actually doing them. I have a list a mile long. I muse on the list. Weigh it up, as one weighs a glass of whisky one is contemplating drinking. Then I put it aside. Heck. I’ll do it all tomorrow. What’s pressing? I haven’t got my novel to write after all, because I’ve just finished that. Aaaarghhh….

There? You see? It’s Baudelaire’s spleen.

Why not go fishing, the devil on my right shoulder says. Go to the movies, says the devil on my left. Go to bed with a book, says the one perching on my head.

No, no, no, no, no, says the little angel hovering ahead of me and staring straight into my eyes. You have all sorts of things you need to do yet - write your glossary. Get on with all those little added extras you promised yourself you would provide for the book. Get thinking about your next one.

But you’ve still got copy editing to do, says the first devil. You can’t even contemplate getting on with the next book yet. You’ll simply spoil it…

Sheeesh. And what have I been doing for the past twenty minutes? Writing a blog for you guys.

The devil always wins….