You know, I’m now a day and a half from having finished the novel proposal, which I believe I said came to something like 49 pages and just shy of 20,000 words (only 7 pages and 3866 words were new, the remainder being the first three chapters). And, man, I can’t tell you what a weight off that was. I continue to go deeper into the publishing process than I’ve ever been.
The next step is to edit that and send it out. Perhaps a more diligent writer than I would have gotten right at it yesterday, or maybe even at 11:30 night before last when I finished. I did not do that at either time; rather, I sat and let the numbness that sets in after I’ve gotten the crap straight up kicked out of me do its worst, because, dude, yesterday was a brute. It wasn’t an unmanageable brute; in fact, I had a thriving day throughout. Still, there wasn’t no way (sic) I was gonna be looking at that manuscript.
This process brought what was essentially the fourth draft. While I didn’t read the entire thing word for word, I did read through it almost paragraph for paragraph, enough to do some editing and make a couple of larger discoveries. And getting through these leaves me so odd. There’s no other way to put it. I don’t think I’m odd with others, but just with myself.
Also, being at this point adds to the oddity of it all. I spent parts of yesterday thinking about what it does to me, with hopes that pinpointing the cause might help me alleviate the feeling some. And I tried to think about what is different from when I’m in the process and when it is behind me. There is one difference between those two states that didn’t occur to me until today.
After it’s done, I get to write. That was essentially a week of not writing. Oh sure, I posted here and there, but most of it was about the novel–just like this is about the novel, come to think of it. But it’s not, it’s about writing. It’s about the ability to just sit down here and fly. Hunter S. Thompson’s essay “First Trip to Mescalito” comes to mind, that urge to just fly across the keys with Sylvia Plath and draw upon that cauldron of experience that TS Eliot assured me would always be giving.
To say a small prayer that my will be diminished to That Which Is greater and that the thing that needs to know what I need to write will know it, and I will just man the keys.
If mares eat oats
and does eat oats
and a little dab’ll do ya,
If MJ is the greatest when it comes
to takin ya to the court
to school ya,
If Stewart Scott passed sadly
but not before all those
copious amounts of booyah!
then why’s that trippin chicken
over the moon
and who told the cow
she could go across the street?
You don’t get that in editing. Who knows.
But half the lawn is done, and I just get to take a little time to write, and, man, that’s just what I do.
I hope you’re having the most pleasant of days. Be well.