“… So, yes, the manuscript is done and is with my editor. Nothing I can do now but wait. Like eating in a Wimpy or (I’m told) childbirth, it’s amazing how quickly you forget the pain of the actual experience and start yearning to go through it again. I’m Patty Hearst and Microsoft Word is my Stockholm Syndrome…
…One last thing: lots of people have very generously offered to read through the m/s and give me their verdict. Others have been more open in wanting to know what / if I’ve written about them. The truth is, I’m as keen as anyone would be to know what the verdict is. I honestly have no idea whether it’s a sack of shit, or whether it’s struggle-through-able…”
Iwrote those words just a bit more than two years ago in a blog post entitled “Save > Attach > Send > Vomit“. I’d just submitted the manuscript of Bringing Nothing To The Party and was in a horrible limbo phase, waiting for my publisher to give his verdict.
The funny thing is, I don’t remember anything about those few days – or the previous week or so of writing. I almost certainly spent most of the week that followed drunk. I’m pretty sure the blackout thing was a subconscious decision: a shortcut to my forgetting how much I hate the actual act of book writing, especially as I head towards – and then past – my deadline.
Two years later and I’m back in that same limbo; the manuscript for the new book landed with the very same publisher three days ago, and there’s nothing to do – again – but wait for his verdict. Again I’m already starting to forget the pain of the actual experience and again I’m starting to think about what to do next, beyond the shit-ton of admin that will come between now and publication day in (I think) July. Assuming that the thing is at least publishable.
The difference this time, of course, is that I can’t even get drunk. Instead I’m just taking some down-time; catching up with reading, seeing friends I haven’t seen for weeks, remembering to eat lunch, all that stuff. One other thing I’ve finally got round to doing is putting the rest of Bringing Nothing To The Party online. You can now read the full contents chapter-by-chapter, complete with clickable footnotes and commenting here.
Right! I have about 24 more hours left of break time (Mike kindly gave me a week off from writing my TechCrunch column) before I have to go back to work. I’m going to download a couple of old episodes of Jonathan Creek and order a takeaway.
I mention that not because I think you’ll care, but rather so that when I look back in another two years, I have at least some idea of where this time went.