I feel more than a little discombobulated. And I don’t know what to do about it.
Last Thursday I pressed Save for the last time, attached the file for Changeling 3 to an email and sent the entire thing off to my publisher.
That’s good, right?
Yes it is good. It means that I have met my deadline; I’ve finished the book that I had the hardest time with, and got it into my editor’s hands in time for her trip to New York. But I feel a bit…weird. I had a similar feeling when I handed over Changeling: Dark Moon. It’s a feeling of disconnection. With this third book I also had a big change to the routine that I’d established with the first two books: finish second draft, put in cupboard for a few weeks, get out and make the changes it will inevitably need, send to agent for feedback and thoughts, THEN send to editor. This time it was: second draft, BANG, off to publisher.
I’m also out of contract with my publishers, and I think that this adds to the mix. However, this aspect of the whole affair has not effected me in quite the way I thought it would. I thought that I would be terrified once I’d handed in the last of the three books that Macmillan signed up with me for. Don’t get me wrong, there is a certain amount of fear and trepidation in my mind about this, but there’s also a chunk of relief too. A kind of freedom.
There’s something else. I have an argument going on inside my head that is making me a little unsettled: part of me wants to just stop for a week or so, not write anything, let my brain just wind down a little. The other part of me is urging me to get cracking on something else – strike while the iron is hot and all that jazz. I’m not sure which side is right, and I’ll feel bad regardless of which one I come down on.
I suspect that all of these feelings and emotions have been felt countless times by writers. That it’s entirely normal, and that in a few days I’ll get my equilibrium back. But for now I’ll just have to put up with the push-me-pull-you state of affairs and see what happens next.