by Donna Andrews
I just hit the send button on an email transmitting the draft of The Nightingale Before Christmas to my editor.
Allow me to pause and utter a small sigh of relief. There are few things that make a writer happier than turning in a manuscript. It doesn't necessarily mean I'm finished. My editor could ask for changes. He could ask for a lot of changes. And since my editor has been known to turn around manuscripts with astonishing speed at times, I could be hard at work again in a few days. And then there's the copy edit stage, and the galleys, and . . .
Forget all that for now. Let's live for the moment. I just turned in a draft.
For the moment, I have the illusion of unlimited time to do all those things I've been wanting to do while working on my draft. Some of them will, of course, have lost a great deal of their charm now that I can actually do them without feeling guilty. For example, the prospect of cleaning and organizing my entire basement probably won't be nearly as seductive as it was last week. Giving my deck and my yard a thorough spring cleaning is beginnig to sound tiring rather than invigorating. And when I look at the stack of books I've been saving to read when I finish the book . . . I'm not quite in the mood for so many more words. I'll give it a day or two.
And there are also a few tasks I have been just as happy to avoid by immersing myself in the book. Now I will either have to do them or find some other excuse for continuing to procrastinate on them. Damn.
In a few hours or days, I will start to feel anxious, worrying about whether my editor likes the draft. And before too very long I have to come up with an idea for my next book and start planning it, because that deadline will be hurtling toward me all too soon. And then--
Never mind all that. Live in the moment. The book's off my plate for now.
I need to have a celebration. Something just a little bit more festive than popping the top of a can of Diet Coke or ambling upstairs for a nap. Any suggestions, writer and reader friends?