News Flash: Barbara Kay and Cynthia Balevre are the winners from yesterday’s post! Check your inboxes, ladies, and congratulations.
Liz Mugavero: Every time I finish a book, especially after a particularly harrowing deadline crunch, I feel like I want to crawl into a hole. A hole with no computer, more specifically. I feel like every piece of my creativity is completely wrung out, like I’ll never be able to turn out another word.
But I also have an immense sense of freedom, of being able to join the living again, to answer the 10,000 emails that have piled up, to actually leave the house.
The last thing I want to do is write. I say it will be at least two weeks, maybe a month, before I can even think about a new story or my characters or a good opening scene. I happily push it all out of my mind and begin to go about my new, free life.
But during those relaxing walks around the town green, while Shaggy sniffs trees and we watch birds, I find myself typing notes into my phone—quick thoughts about something I saw that would fit into a story, or an overheard conversation that would make a great first line.
Or I’m in the car and suddenly an entire plot line jumps into my head and I have to tell Siri to take notes for me so I don’t lose it before I get home. Then I go home and start working on my synopsis for the next book. And guess what? It’s only been three days since I swore I wasn’t working on a book.
Am I crazy? Obsessed?
Nah, I’m just a writer. I can’t stop. I’ve never been able to. Telling stories is what I’m here to do, and it’s not something I can simply turn off. And in that free space that comes from finishing a project, new creativity has even more room to blossom. It doesn’t so much need time to return, but rather space to blossom.
Then I’m overcome with the possibilities of what’s going to happen to my characters this time. What dire problems I can bestow on them, and how they’ll figure a way out of it.
Sounds like fun, doesn’t it?
It is. I do admit, I like a finished book that needs editing. It feels like I’ve climbed a mountain and can now linger on the way down the other side, taking my time and being all the things I didn’t see in that arduous climb.
But there’s something to be said for that blank page.