It’s an obvious enough question. I still woke up at 5 o’clock this morning, even though I’ve no more book to write. Here I am, twiddling my thumbs, and finally doing some blogging. (Whether that’s a good thing or not is open to debate.)
Well, here’s what going to happen next:
- I’m going to spend the long weekend with my manuscript, having a last think about it all, and then it will be sent off to my agent Bruce on Tuesday. After that, I hope there will be something actually worth writing about as we begin the process of hawking the book around publishing houses, both in London and New York.
- In the meantime, I will go in mourning. Two different flavors of remorse here: I have lived with my characters for five years, and they’re finally gone. I got rather fond of most of them and I’m sorry to see them go. Secondly, I’m bidding goodbye to the possibility of making the book any better. Novels can always be improved, whether in big or small ways, but at some point the author has to slam that door shut. It’s a scary thing to do.
- Thirdly, I’m going to start thinking about the next book. Already lots of ideas flying around.
- There will, inevitably, be more blogging.
- I may even do more (legal) work, at least for a while.
- Finally, I’m going to become a reading fool.
It’s pleasing to have the manuscript finally completed, but oddly I don’t feel especially happy about it. There’s still a long way to go, and my private little project of the last five years is about to enter the public realm. I’m apprehensive.
It is a totally normal reaction to feel a sense of loss when a project is complete. I am sure there is a Shark who will fill some of the space left by writing and rewriting and then having friends read and rewriting again your book. I for one am looking forward to reading the book from cover to cover and not bit by bit. Congratulations. It is a great book.
Sense of loss? Whenever I finish a book, I tend to dance around in my underpants for at least a week. Well done, Al.
Thanks, Louis. Maybe the difference this time is that I wasn’t writing to any deadline/contract, so it’s felt less like finishing homework.
The leisurely pace, and sense that writing is once again a hobby, have both been a delight. Can’t say I’m looking forward to entering the publishing circus (lots of clowns) again. God, some people are never happy, are they?