Friday, February 3, 2012

Post-partum Depression

Writers often talk about writing a book as if it’s giving birth. Our novels are “babies” that we nourish with words. We generally keep them hidden and protected before they’re ready for the public (notwithstanding my little experiment, which was an anomoly). We provide quality prenatal care (feedback, critique, editing). When we’re done, it feels like we’ve gone through a marathon of labor to get the newborn out into the world.

However, the part for me that feels most like childbirth is the post-partum depression. Some mothers feel this directly after labor, some after coming home from the hospital/birth center (which can be extended by quite a bit if there are medical problems), and some not until after all the relatives stop visiting and no more casseroles show up magically on the doorstep. There are even some who never suffer this at all. You disgusting women know who you are. You probably hit a weight lower than pre-pregnancy within three days, too. If you are one of these women, please do NOT gloat about your good fortune lest I come to your blog and brag about being class valedictorian.

Anyway, just like mothers, authors can get their post-partum depression at different stages of “done” too. I felt some of it when I got the rough draft all finished and another burst when I finished three rounds of critiques and edits. I expect there will be a little more right after the release date as well.

Right now, I’m still somewhat in this mode. No doubt, part of my problem is lack of inspiration to get my fanfiction back on track. I went right back to it immediately after finishing the first draft because I knew I had a lot of waiting time ahead of me while the critiquers went through it. I did get some good chapters in then. However, the train got derailed when I had to do more editing than anticipated (am I ever going to get to the point where I can estimate that acurately?) and now it’s not quite as easy to jump back on.

I have been doing some recharging of my creative batteries. Or maybe it’s just my justification for not writing; take your pick. I read some books I’ve been putting off while I was deep into the rough draft: Finding Angel by Kat Heckenbach, I am Ocilla by Diane Graham, and Electric Angel by Sue Dent. I proofed a nonfiction book for Rick Copple and I did a preliminary estimate for a paid edit, but the manuscript isn’t quite ready for me yet. I have more books in my “to-be-read” pile, but my interest is waning.

Truth is, I’m having withdrawals. Again. I need to get back in the groove. I have to try to woo back the readers I dump--er--set aside temporarily, not because they owe me anything, but because I desperately WANT them back. I still dream of the now-finished trilogy “taking off” and finally providing more of what I crave along with the absurd notion of profit, but after two published books that didn’t really provide much in either category, I’m not holding my breath on this one. Much.

Still, even if there is gold to be found in that mine, it’s at least six long weeks away and I need a “fix” sooner. Listen here, Muse: I capitulated and did what you wanted. I wrote that third book for publication. I finished what I started. But that was supposed to make you happy and loosen you up. Time to pay up, bucko. Stop withholding on me! Give me some ideas. Like, NOW.

Sorry for that interruption. Does anyone else talk to their Muse? No? Not surprised. I need a mental ward. I best duck out while I can.

Oh... on the crazy off-chance that you’re a) not someone I already begged to read the book for endorsement and b) actually interested, the first five chapters are posted here. This cover concept is just a mockup. It’s awaiting an awesome crown drawing from the amazing Kat Heckenbach, among other things. This is just my attempt at building anticipation.


  1. I'm working on the crown! But even without it, the covers look so cool all in a row like that :).

    And postpartum depression really IS the feeling! I can compare SO much of writing to the whole birth process. I never expected that, but it's so.

  2. I wasn't implying you were taking too long on the crown. Genius takes time. No worries. I don't have a real endorsement for the front yet, either. Thanks for stopping by the blog.