I know, I just get back here and boom, I’m sorta gone again.
But to be fair, I have a really good reason. My second novel just came back with final edits and I have two weeks to complete them and I need to breath into my paper bag.
Who has my paper bag, Andy!?
When I initially turned this book in to my editor, I was really unhappy with it, and intensely disappointed in myself. I don’t turn in crap work, but this time I did. That has never happened before, and it really destroyed my confidence.
I was blocked. I wrote to you about it last month when I returned to this blog, but writer’s block is a real and very terrifying thing when it’s your job to be a writer, it’s your passion to be a writer, and you have all these amazing, powerful and brilliant people standing there waiting for you to be a writer. No pressure, right?
Narrator: Get the fucking bag, Andy.
Honestly, it’s why I really haven’t spoken much about this book. I have been reassured many, many times by many, many authors that sophomore novels are the toughest, but guys… I am terrified to fail at this, and I could never live with myself if I published a book I didn’t actually love from cover to cover.
It took a little bit longer for these edits to come back this time, which of course made a million horrible scenarios go through my head. My first book happened so easily, so seamlessly, and so quickly. Granted, Fat Girl Walking had been written years ago in college journals, stray word documents and the backs of napkins.
This book didn’t exist until I wrote it last year. Until I sat down and decided which word was going to come first, and which sentence came last, and then I turned it in thinking, I will never love you like the first.
It’s like when you have a second baby. You’re excited to be pregnant and to have another child, but as the baby crowns you panic: What if I don’t love this one as much as my first? What if my very first baby feels ignored? What if my first baby feels sad because I’m stuck in the hospital with the new baby? Oh my God, I should have done a home birth! I’m a terrible mother!
So yeah, it’s like that.
But just like I held Wyatt in my arms at 2am in a hospital bed watching The Office and realized that I was going to love him just fine, I finally fell in love with this damn book.
Honestly, it was a blessing it had taken so long, because I wasn’t in the head space to work on it until right this moment, and now I can’t get enough of it. Which is good, because as I said above, my deadline is in two weeks.
The galaxy is awfully sneaky when it comes to reminding you how much smarter it is than you are.
So while all of that is awesome and exciting, there is a part to this that is anything but. This deadline is insanely tight, and the workload is massive. Naturally, that brings along all manner of panic, stress and increased anxiety.
Sometimes anxiety manifests itself into waves of panic attacks, sometimes it makes my hands and lips numb and I forget how to swallow, and sometimes… it turns into anger and rage.
People don’t talk about that last one enough, and I can tell you, it often feels like the most shameful.
We need to talk about this more.
I need to feel less alone in this.
I need to know I’m not an angry, horrible garbage monster.
I thought being a creative person would make me a creative parent, but sometimes it’s the opposite.
My temper is short. I am too agitated to sit still. No one around me is moving as fast as I want them to. Andy chews louder and breaths heavier than normal, and he’s not able to read my mind the way I need him to. I get annoyed with my children when they talk to me because I’m busy inside my head and they’re interrupting a creative thought I don’t want to lose, and I want to say, “just give me 10 more minutes,” but asking someone you love with your whole being to hang on with their “I love you mom’s” and cuddles and all the shit I am very aware will disappear any preteen second… it sucks.
I hate this part of my anxiety. I am trying to learn to cope with it better because when I look back on this part of my life, and remember what it’s like to write my second novel, this is what I want to remember…
Back to work.
The book comes out December 26th. I’m so excited for you to read it.