Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The next book

Now what?

That is the question I've been asking for the past two weeks since I set down my pen and said: Done.

Now what?

I have several projects printed up; half-written manuscripts for books that I never got around to finishing. I've been carrying ALL of them around with me, waiting for one to light up and signal, 'Me!'

That's not working.

In fact, as I read through them - hundreds of typewritten pages - each has some fatal flaw - a premise too trite, overworked, ambitious; a question that (I now realize) is outside the realm of my experience or, frankly, my interest. Two of the unborn books feel half-hearted; two feel too big for me; two feel, oh, I don't know... weird.

I keep looking through them, hoping that I will catch fire the way I did with Sea of Miracles, but instead, I get only a few pages through before setting them aside with a full-body SIGH.

Maybe I am asking too much of myself.
Maybe I have only one real book in me.
Maybe a writer needs a resting period, a pause between mountain climbs.

Maybe it's time to return to the memoir I set aside 'for a little while' when Sea of Miracles came charging through me.

The thing is. . .

that first book didn't just move through me, it moved me. shifting my whole life ever so slightly, but ever so profoundly, onto my true course. I have never been so solidly myself; never been so certain of what I want to do, to teach, to say.

And from this new place, those other books feel kinda stale.

So, today, in the time when I 'should be' writing, I am going to go through each one - one more time - and decide: Are we complete here? Have you brought me all you were meant to bring?

If so, I will let it go and move on to and into the new work that waits, just inside my awareness, to be born.

I can feel it there

the way one senses the presence of an important encounter just before engagement; the way that I sensed the arrival of each of my children just before conception; the way that I feel my angels' standing behind me now, reminding me: You have crossed a threshold of the self; from now on, you will always be an author. And the books that you are meant to write will come.


Sally G. said...

You definitely have a beautiful way of expressing your thoughts and feelings.

I've come to love the space between. That place of stillness where nothing is happening, no thing has yet formed.

At least, I love and honour it when I remember to.

Inside, you know what you're meant to do now. I think bringing closure, one way or the other, to the past represented in all that lays around you right now is wise. When you're ready to face your 'next thing' ~ you'll see it in all its wondrous clarity.

Then again, perhaps I'm writing this message to myself ...

julie s said...

Think of these things as sketches or studies that are clearing the way and laying the groundwork for the next ouevre. Perhaps they don't need to be anything more than what they are, or were. I think they may simply be larger, more developed versions of those perfectly beautiful sentences that just don't work anywhere in the paragraph, or the paper, or the book. Thank them, wish them well, and go clean a closet or bang a drum. When it's time to write again, the next thing will be right there, and it will be so easy to write.

mydivabydesign - The Diva's Home said...

Don't worry. you will get there!