I’ve sent the draft to my beta-readers.
The Sexorcism of Miriam Flack is entering the final stages.
These past two months (two years, two decades, whatever) I kept setting deadlines and sailing right through them with not much to show.
Recently, more of those deadlines passed and I beat my head against a wall of angst for about 24 hours.
Deadlines used to be arbitrary. They were soft webs that I could walk through without repercussion because I was working a full-time day job. I had the cushion of money every two weeks to keep minor things like, say, a roof over my head. I would growl when I had to stop writing in the morning and do things like shower and go to work but I appreciated my job for the comfort it allowed even if my time to write was severely limited.
But I needed more. I told a good friend that if she ever found a place with an extra bedroom, I would love to move up north and write in the redwoods. Two years after that request, and multiple vacations to her lovely town, she had to move and ended up in the perfect house.
Since I had promised myself to leap when the time came, I leapt. Headfirst. I cashed out my modest 401k and gave myself an advance. It was about as much as I would have received for a first novel but it wasn’t spread out over two or three years and I didn’t have to give an agent 15%. Moving costs took a big chunk but I was good to go for three months, easy.
At first, my monkeymind was all: You are awesome! You’re going to be paying your way with your writing by June or July! Seriously, this is the BEST THING EVER!
Two months in and my monkeymind is all: Seriously? You QUIT YOUR JOB on the bullshit promise that you could whip out stories every month? You lied to your mother, you lied to your friends, and you lied to yourself! You’re working for FREE right now, you know that, right? Someone else is getting that nice paycheck you earned in that little cubicle in that big grey building in the city. You expect readers to give a shit what you write? It’s not even sexy.
Stupid monkey mind got me into this trouble in the first place.
But I also have my board of directors. They are a group of grown-ups in my head that handle the more pragmatic aspects of my life. I drop problems onto their big oak table in the penthouse office of the magnificent skyscraper overlooking the perpetual dusk of my subconscious mind and they come up with solutions, usually while I sleep.
Saturday morning I woke up after asking the board: WHEN WILL THIS STORY BE DONE?
The reply: It will be done when it’s done.
Wow. Even my monkeymind could get behind that one.
There’s always a job available at the deli if I need it. The job is minimum wage and probably part-time but will be worth it to keep living and writing in this beautiful place.
And I am loving-life right now, I tell you what. Even my monkeymind chatter is interspersed with words like “PRETTY BIRDS” and “SHINY OCEAN” and “BEST FRIEND” and “BEER”.
Even when my housemates are about, making a great clatter in the kitchen or popping in movies or slamming Southern Comfort at the very same table I write on, I can still write. It’s brilliant. Their energy excites me.
So, I may be working at the deli while I finish the next companion story and the novel, The Reluctant Sexorcist. I’ll take your order with a smile because I am happier than I have ever been.
Settle down, monkeymind.