Monday, January 27, 2014

Finishing Touch

This week I should be completing a new book.  But often, it's that final push that proves the most difficult.  Sometimes, when I complete a book, I have the same feeling as when I take a beloved pet to the veterinarian to be euthanized.  When I've lived with a book for months it becomes an old friend and it is difficult to let go.  Sometimes there is grief--and its not unusual for writers to pass through a period of depression when they finally put a book to rest.

Fortunately, I have so many new projects and deadlines, I can't grieve for too long.  I've got to focus on the thrill of a new puppy . . . taking up some fresh, squirming book that is slick with promise, or turning my attentions, at last, to some brief friendship with an essay or a poem.  Writing every day means that I experience funerals followed by birthday parties.  I lay to rest one old friend and follow it up by celebrating the new.

As I get older, however, this pace offers new challenges.  Sometimes, I can't remember the name of the deceased--so when an editor calls to ask me about a book, I have to ask, "Which one are we talking about?"  And now that I'm juggling multiple books, essays, and writing assignments simultaneously, it's tough keeping it all straight.  Writing for hours at a time doesn't help, either.  

My wife says I need to create a giant chart so I can keep track of the publishers, editors and deadlines.  She may be correct.  

But I'm afraid I'd forget where I put the chart.  

I would hang something like this on the refrigerator, but I'd be afraid that others in the family would look at a note like, "March 1" or "New York" or "Done" and think that I was talking about cooking a steak.  

These may be similar.  But in most cases I don't think a sauce would help.    

No comments: