Posted by: pendrops | August 20, 2008

funky writing doldrums

I’m sitting here smack in the middle of the funky post-writing, post-editing, post-everything doldrums.  You see, last week I put the final finishing forever-and-ever-amen touches on my book and sent it to three publishing industry folks for a bit of good ole fashioned constructive criticism.

Not only am I suffering some strange sort of post-partum depression since completing my first book, but now I’m at a complete loss for what to do with myself even though I know there must be something that needs doing. And on top of the mopey dumps, all I can seem to muster any energy for is agonizing. And eating chocolate. I just can’t help thinking, what if these experts who are holding my baby, er, um, my book in their very experienced hands have no choice but to tell me how ugly she is when they hand her back to me. I’m definitely not above criticism, but no one wants to hear their baby is ugly.

Now I know that no one, no matter how many decades he has logged in the publishing industry, has the final say on me or my book. These pros may not “get” my style. They may not like fragmented sentences.  Hell, they may not care for words like shit showing up in my recorded conversations with God. I’m too Pollyanna for some and too Courtney Love for others.

So if I know not everyone is going to “get” the book, what’s the big deal?

I once heard Philip Yancey tell a group of writers to stop writing.  “It’s not too late,” he said laughing, knowing that the writing life (or any artist’s life for that matter) is one of torment, agony, doubt and fear, most often haunted by loneliness, insecurity and obsession over trivialities like whether to use “aestival” or “autumnal” to describe finicky late September weather.

And yet, Philip, and every other writer in the world, knows that a writer is a writer. A writer can’t help but be a writer. It’s like breathing. Really laborious and demanding and wearisome breathing.  And I think that’s what the big deal is.

Normally, when I feel this way (i.e., neurotic, scared, restless), I stop whatever I’m doing and dance. Because you can never go wrong with dancing. And you really can’t go wrong dancing to Will Smith. Nothing cures the blues like gettin’ jiggy wit it, can we all just say that? But today, surrounded by funky writing doldrums, I can hardly withstand the inclination to plop myself on the couch, devour an entire Dagoba Dark Chocolate bar, and finish season seven of the Gilmore Girls.

But there’s still some glimmer. There’s still some great expectation. There’s me, at this computer, writing, right now.

And there’s Will singing, “Livin’ lovin’, lovin’ livin’, it’s all good. I’m lovin’ livin’, it’s all good…”

Maybe I’ll just crank it up a bit and see what kinda move I can bust.



  1. Hmm….I can think of something you can do- you can hang out with me! 😉

    Thanks so much for sharing- I remember how it felt to send my book off like you’re doing. But I actually got what my Mom calls the “heeby jeevys”….I would have so much nervous energy I’d drive myself and my entire family nuts and sometimes I’d just go run around the house,…I think I even made the poor dog come with me once just so I wouldn’t look so ridiculous. Neither of us lasted long. But I do remember collapsing on the grass and wondering why I always had such a hard time with it when it was out of my hands. And like you said, I didn’t know what do with myself. All this freedom was at my fingers that I wasn’t used to having. But I got over that before too long! 🙂

    Miss and love you girl and can’t wait hear what happens through this!

    Huge hug,

  2. I am so thrilled for you!! I had no idea you had continued to write your book and that you were that close to being done. I’ll be the first to go out and buy your book!! I’m sure the publishers will think your baby is brilliant!

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