When I turned in my manuscript of The Keep of Ages last Friday for it to go to copy edits, I was so elated with the book and so pleased to reach the milestone that I went out for hot chocolate with my husband to celebrate, and later in my chorus rehearsal, I sang exuberantly. It is amazing to reach a point with a story, after months and months of labor, when I’m deeply satisfied with the work and excited to see it moving onto the next stage. The energy around that moment is unlike anything else. I wanted to bottle that joy and confidence.
Since then, I’ve been reading, shoveling, and catching up on neglected chores. I’ll still have two more chances to go through the novel, so I’m not absolutely and completely finished with Rosie’s story, but I have time now to open the door and look out at where I’m going next. It’s exciting, honestly, and I have new ideas that are luring me. The task-master part of me is chiding me to get to work, get writing, don’t waste a minute, but a friend told me yesterday to take a little break. Breathe. I trust her, so I’m trying.
I like work. It takes me deep into the ideas. But sometimes, I need to live in the world, too, and figure out what living means again. It’s nice to savor the joy, too.