I am again stuck in the vacuum that comes from finishing things. As of today, I have completed work on two new books, and right on cue, possibly the second I hit the send button of the email I sent to the book publishing place, the feeling of, “everything finished, nothing left to do,” swarmed me.
It must be a question of direction and thinking; for months now my thoughts have been dominated by these two books: what state they are in, how to best edit them, how to make them better, what will be on the cover, what will I do about the problems I’ve found in them, do they suck, why do they suck, am I saying”fuck” too much in the poems, how to distribute them, how to pay for the proofs, how to pay for the copies, who to give them to etc.…
Now all that thinking is finished, and my mind is a blank canvas once again. In a nominal situation, I would immediately be overjoyed with this, for now I could work on literally anything, and any pet project could now become something to put rubber to road on, and to tear into and start doing the job on.
Alternatively, I could now sit back and relax and not think about anything for a while; kick back and enjoy some downtime without an avalanche of thoughts about not working hard enough clouding up any moment where I sit still for more than ten fucking seconds.
Except both of those situations seem elusive in this, the first moments of nothing.
To make matters worse, right after I finished sending off the two books to the magical place that makes them into things I can hold in my hand, I finished the book I had been reading as well. Now there was a hole in that area of my life, and a whole wide world of books I could choose to fill it. Which is terrible! How am I supposed to decide what to read now? I could literally read anything! Anything in the history of literature is open to me, and I’m supposed to just pluck one tome off the wall and have at it? Ugh. What misery.
I know, I know. This is all just a bunch of sniveling whining that nobody needs to read or hear about, and that many people would just up and stab somebody to be in this same position. But goddamn it, this shit bothers me, and I’m sure someone else has felt the same way in their time. Also, there is always that worry of, “okay, now I’ve finished something, and that might mean that there is nothing else.” That the books I finished might be the last good ideas I ever have, that the blank slate is not a canvas, but a barren wasteland, and I would be better off just heading back to work, cashing the checks, and waiting on a white picket fence and listening books on tape and going to be early and buying a Prius and buying new socks and knowing where my money is going and getting a credit card and watching talent shows and not caring and saying to people at parties that I wrote a book once etc.
It just sounds all so adult. Which is the antithesis of what I want in my life. So I need to find something to do, and fast. Or I’ll end up writing more self-focused dreck like this fucking blog post, and nobody needs that.
Oh, those two books should be ready for everyone to order by the end of the month. Keep your eyes peeled.