The First Novel as Constipation

Every year around this time I find myself tired for no reason, as if my mind somehow feels the weight of the year and decides to shut down. Either that or I’m getting ready for winter by wanting to hibernate.

It’s also a birthday thing. My birthday, which normally I don’t care much about (no really, I know people say this but I mean it – I don’t see the big deal) but the punch of the birthday and then the holiday season means overdosing on poorly animated Christmas specials and year end lists (which I devour and hate all at once, sort of how I feel about Kraft Dinner or maybe Going for the One by Yes) and thinking about the past year – and I’m not the nostalgic sort at all – and looking forward to bigger and better things.

I’m looking forward to finally finding a publisher for my novel. I have a new agent (the story of the old agent is long and strange and will be told someday but the novel kind of lost 6 months of its life) and the book is out there (again). And then once that’s done I can start writing the second novel which is percolating like bad kimchi and is ready to explode, and once I’m into that I get the feeling I will be into fully fleshing out a bunch of other stuff I have on the go. The first novel is really, in the end, kind of constipating me.

Sorry for that image.

I was talking about the novel with my kid and realized the first scene I ever wrote was more than 10 years ago. Off and on, I’ve been writing it for 10 years. I’ve rewritten it 9 times (at least) and have twice changed course on it completely. But that scene, that first scene (which really makes up a part of the final scene in the book), has remained, more or less intact, all this time. It has survived the frantic editing and rewriting that the manuscript has endured over the years. I hope it stays and makes it to the final product.

When this book finally does get published, it will make for a unique but entertaining case study in the business of writing, of publishing, of being a writer. And when it does get published, the new stuff will pour out of me like, um, never mind. That image is gross.




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