On occasion – okay, frequently – it occurs to me that the level of content here has dropped over the last few months, maybe even longer. No apologies, no excuses, but perhaps some of that may be explained by a deadline I set for myself a few months back: to have the first draft of my current work in progress complete before I flew to Madison.

For the last couple of months, I was certain I wouldn’t make it, mostly because those 1000 words a day were akin to having a tooth pulled out, slowly, one millimeter at a time. Or because other things popped up. Or because I was procrastinating. Or because I was stressed out. The usual things. And not so long ago, I stopped beating myself up if I missed my self-imposed deadline because hey, it’s self-imposed. No one cares. Which is the most liberating feeling in the world.

No wonder a funny thing happened late Sunday night, not long after Rosh Hashanah ended. And as I typed “The End” I didn’t feel excited or upset or relieved. I felt confused. What do you mean, I don’t have to get my ass in the chair and excrete words on a daily basis? What do you mean, I’m finished, revisions – many, many, many revisions – pending? It was weird.

Or maybe not. I was talking to Dave the next day and he said he got sick right after finishing up WHEN ONE MAN DIES. I’ve heard other writers relate similar stories of discombobulation and slight health maladies after putting a manuscript to bed (temporarily or otherwise.) I suppose when the work is that consistent, that demanding of your creative energies, when it’s over, the immune system has its say. Begs the person to rest and relax.

Which I will. And then, not too long from now, I’ll look at the manuscript and see exactly what’s good and what needs to be tossed. And get to work. But I’m fairly circumspect about the whole thing. I wrote a novel last year and it’s sitting in a drawer, on permanent hiatus. This one may suffer the same fate. And if so, I’ll write another. And another. Because no one’s waiting for my debut novel, not really.

So I might as well get the damn thing right.