Now, an Empty Mind


Manuscript for Friendship Games submitted. A glass of red wine in celebration.

I had been writing Friendship Games for a couple of years, but this summer it was time for a final push. The whole summer I wrote 1,000 words per day. Not every day, but close to it. It was a race to the semester, which I lost. So juggling work and writing was a chore.

But that's over now, for now.

And the strangest thing has happened: My mind has emptied. And it's a nice feeling.

I can't remember the last time when I wasn't thinking about one scene or another, reminding myself to add this or that, fix an inconsistency, and the like.

I've published research in academic journals, and it was always a thrill to get that revise-and-resubmit letter. The final acceptance letters were usually anti-climatic after all the revisions, but still, it was always nice. But then it was on to the next thing, no time to waste. The tenure clock was ticking, so chop chop.

It was nice when Alter Road was submitted, but there was a lot more trepidation then. First novel and all. Lots of self-doubt, it's awful, what I am doing, hope nobody reads it, hope it sells, etc. And then I started on what would become Friendship Games to kind of put all of that to rest. Some nice reviews helped.

This is the first time though, after submitting a manuscript - whether academic or fiction - that my mind has emptied. Again, it's nice, but I hope it doesn't last too long. I'd like to get started on the next one, whatever it becomes.