That time between finishing a manuscript, sending it out for literary agents to peruse, and beginning another project — that’s the awkward space, for me. Finished but not exactly done with the journey to being published, but not yet finding a new creative outlet for your energies. So you pick up a book. Several. Really clean out your To-Be-Read list that’s been accumulating proverbial dust on Goodreads the last six months. Finally plant that garden in your used egg carton and place it on your windowsill. Be productive with your empty brain space. City-productive. Instead of mulling over plot points, character diversity, or that tongue-in-cheek scene you included after happy hour with friends, you have all this free time. Just me?
The last few months have been incredible. I added 13k words to my manuscript, entered and won the Twitter contest RevPit, when the talented Nicole Tone chose my MS to edit over a full month, and connected with a string of new writers and CPs.
My day has gone from Wake –> Write –> Day job –> Write –> Sleep –> Dream about writing to no writing at all, reading great books, and reading great chapters from my critique partners. I almost feel like an empty-nester after sending out my manuscript to waiting agents, relinquishing my characters to Go, into the wild, with ya! Like I opened my eyes to my surroundings one day and really appreciated my apartment beyond the kitchen table for the first time in months (–Is that a chessboard by the big rectangular scree–Oh–television?).
Even while I’m relishing having evenings again after the day job and catching up on lunch dates, part of me has one foot out the door of City Productive and one foot into Next Work in Progress. The high of landing on a clever book idea and mapping out the route is addictive. Removing that powerful presence in my head leaves a bereft, confused, happy, but lacking feeling that I think many writers/creatives will understand.
So where’s my Next WIP? Not sure. Until I find it, rest assured I will be noting every tick of my friend’s expressions, the exact shade of burnt gold of my waiter’s tie, and the cookie crumb residue gracing my laptop’s keyboard until I find something else productive to actually do with it.