The last few weeks have been a blur. I took Owen back east to visit family for Passover at the end of March, and a few days after we got home I lost a days-long battle with a wicked cold that ended up knocking me on my ass for three days (and forced me to skip going to Seattle for Vogue Knitting Live, so I’m in a very big fight with that cold). Though when I write it all out it seems minor, I’ve spent the last week feeling like I need to scramble or hustle or something dramatic- and energetic-sounding just to get my head back in the game.
So I’m just going to write a bunch of blog posts in hopes that getting some ideas out of my brain will help clear up my thinking. Or something.
While I was out of town, I signed my book contract. This both thrills and terrifies me, and I’ll tell you why.
I’m thrilled because DUH OBVIOUSLY I HAVE A BOOK CONTRACT. It’s a book I’ve spent my life writing inside my brain. It’s a book of ideas, not how-to. It’s about how we experience our creativity and our creative acts, and about what we might do to enhance those experiences. I first wrote the proposal for it last May, and the proposal, even in its very sorry original state, connected me with my agent, so, yay. After giving me the best editorial feedback I’ve ever received, leading to a major overhaul of the proposal, my agent then did her extraordinary work. Honestly, I don’t know how agents do it. Anyway. My book was rejected a whole lot. A whole lot. And in the end, she found it the perfect home.
My publisher isn’t huge, and they’re only three hours away. I immediately got a great feeling about them, and my feeling was only reinforced when I drove down to meet my editor a few days after I got back from my trip east. (If you’re creating a mental timeline, I drove to Seattle after getting over my jet lag and before succumbing to the vicious cold).
Though I’ve met all of my previous book editors in person at some point or another, I don’t think I ever had an opportunity to sit down with one this early in the writing stage. I was a little rambly and unfocused, and I wish I’d had my shit together a little bit more. Regardless, it was great to meet him face to face, and to meet the people in the office who are going to do such important work to make and promote the book.
And I’ll be honest, after nine days solo parenting away from home, spending six hours by myself in the car was a damned revelation.
Now that I’ve healed after the cold, I’ve been thinking a lot about the book. And here’s the part that’s terrifying me: Because so many months passed between writing the proposal and finding the book a home, the project existed in my mind as a fantasy for nearly a year. Now that it’s real, and I need to write it (by July!), I’m stuck. Not stuck like I don’t have anything to say, just stuck in the most ordinary of ways. It’s natural, even predictable, that I feel this way. So I’m not terribly stressed about it. I know I’ll get unstuck. Hell, I have a pile of books on creativity I’m finally giving myself time to read, each of which will offer me dozens of ways to get unstuck. One of them is even called Unstuck.
But anyway, I thought maybe airing my stuckness will help. Even if it doesn’t, did you notice that ginormous tree up there? Holy smokes!