Tuesday night I finished my 11th book. Truman Capote once said, that finishing a book is like taking your child out in the back yard and shooting it. I don’t think that people get what he meant unless they’ve actually written a book. Everyone says, "Aren’t you going to have a party! Dance naked! Get drunk and shag the cat!?" And you have to say, "No, not any more than a normal Tuesday."
Yes, it’s a relief that you’re going to make your deadline, and they you have, indeed, achieved the goal of finishing. But you don’t know whether it’s any good yet, and suddenly the thing that drove you, that you woke up to and went to sleep to for two years, isn’t there any more. Imagine that you’re Ahab, and you pursue Moby Dick to the ends of the earth — brave storms, disease, mutiny, but when you finally catch up to him you find he’s dead on the beach and birds have been feeding on him for weeks. What do you do tomorrow?
So, yes, I’m stoked the book is done, but it simply opens up this huge arc of limitless ways in which I can fuck up. And I have to make a dentist appointment. And come up with ideas for three new books, and a comic book series, and — well, there are worse things. Much worse. It doesn’t help that my printer crapped out, so I wasn’t able to start my edits. (I edit in hard copy.) So I had to wander around the house going, "Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit." I ended up reframing a picture I’ve been thinking about reframing for, oh, ten years. And changing out all the light bulbs in my office to compact fluorescents. I know, pathetic, but until I find the next white whale, I just have to stay out of trouble.
I’ll let you guys know about release dates and more as I know more. And as soon as my editor and I think it’s prudent, I’ll post a chapter here.