The Secret Dreamworld of an Aspiring Author by Anna Bell - That Empty Feeling
Last week I found myself in an odd position. I’d sent my latest work-in-progress off for line editing and I felt lost.
Whenever I’ve sent work to an editor before I’ve felt giddy with relief at the notion of a few weeks off from it. But now that I’m a full time writer I have become fear and loathing in a dressing gown.
In the past, I’ve had a list as long as both of my arms of things to catch up on: blogs, book reviews and books to read, and this time was no different. The only major difference was that I didn’t have my full time job to go to. Which meant that I caught up on my to-do list in a few days. Just what else was I supposed to do with my time? Where once there weren’t enough hours in the day, last week a day seemed like a very long time.
Recently I spoke to a former colleague of mine, who had just retired. He said he was having trouble getting out of bed in the mornings because he didn’t have anything in particular to get out of bed for. In general, with my books to focus on, I hadn’t experienced that and I’ve been sitting down at my desk at 9am after walking my dog. Yet last Monday I woke up and didn’t have any impetus to get out of bed (apart from the dog pawing me of course). I started to understand what my former colleague had meant as I wandered aimlessly around my house, tidying and feeling purposeless.
A little while ago I planned a super schedule so that I was always working. I planned out the order of the books I was going to write. Only with my WIP gone I found myself second guessing each one of them. Where they a good enough idea to write? Was it high concept enough? I started feeling to feel the fear. For the first time since I’d left my job I was panicking. What if I had no more books left in me? What if my latest book was it?
When I finally calmed down I decided to use the time to plan my books fully and to start researching them. And now I’ve got a reason to get out of bed until the weekend when my baby (aka my WIP) comes back.
What do other writers do when their WIPs have gone for editing? Am I the only one to feel lost?