Sunday, July 7, 2013

The post-series cleanup.

I cleaned the house last weekend.  I dusted and vacuumed my bedroom, including the bookcases; I scoured the soap scum off the bathroom sink and used window cleaner on the mirror; I even dusted my desk behind my computer, kind of.  I also mended a pair of slacks.  The weekend before that, I got caught up on the bills.  This past week, I blocked two shawls that I’d knitted, finished a third, and made progress on yet another knitting project.

Why is this a big deal, you ask?  Don’t normal people do this stuff all the time? Ah, but you see, I’m not a normal person.  I’m a writer.

It seems like I’ve been on deadline since before the end of 2012.  I’ve been writing and editing like crazy, meeting my self-imposed deadlines for publishing the fifth and final book in my urban fantasy series.  Even after Annealed went live on Amazon in May, I had blog posts for the book launch tour to write, and then I started packing for Alaska.  When I got back from vacation, the tour began.  In short, it’s been one thing after another, and so real-life maintenance kind of slipped.

Okay, it didn’t just “kind of” slip.

He looks like he's suffering, doesn't he?
Recently, in a Facebook writers’ group, we talked about all the things we do to delay when we’re not feeling the writing thing.  Cleaning was pretty high on the list of chores we’d rather tackle than a tough scene.  (I’ve been known to use cleaning the litter box as an avoidance tactic. There – my dirty little secret has been revealed.)  But it seems to me that the opposite is true, as well: if the writing is going well or a deadline is looming, the dishes mount in the sink, the dust bunnies increase exponentially, and the poor kitties suffer with a gross litter box.

Then the deadline passes, the book is done and the launch is history, and gradually we reawaken to real life again.  We realize with a guilty start all the things we’ve been neglecting – cleaning, family, friends.  And so we can whip ourselves into a frenzy in an effort to make up for the time we’ve supposedly lost.  As I’ve been doing for the past couple of weeks.

But you know what?  I didn’t really lose anything.  In the space of six months, I wrote two novels and published a third.  It’s not that I didn’t want to clean the house…. Well, okay, maybe I didn’t, but that’s not the reason why it didn’t get done.  It’s because I had different priorities.  I did something most people don’t do: I wrote books.

THIS regal being requires a human with better priorities.
It occurs to me that the mad frenzy of the past few weeks – the cleaning, the mending, and so on – might be a preemptive strike against the next guilt attack.  Because, you see, I’ve started the research for the next series, and I’ve even made some preliminary notes.  If I work it right, I can have the first book out by the holidays. (You heard it here first!)

But I think this time, I might schedule “real-life catch-up” days as well as writing days.  Poor Mr. Wommy and the Lady Morgana deserve a clean litter box, even on days when the writing muse does strike.

Thanks to everybody who downloaded Fissured this weekend, and a special, extremely heartfelt thanks to those who bought the rest of the series at the same time. You're all my new best friends.

And if you've made your way here for the first time -- welcome! I don't usually resort to posting pictures of the cats, but it does happen occasionally.

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