Monday 15th January 2018

Today is supposed to be Blue Monday, the most depressing day of the year.  For me, that’s certainly partly true as my anxiety has been spiking all over the place.  It’s been caused by a number of things and has just seemed to have come to a head.
However, I took steps to resolve a few personal things that had been part of the problem, and I feel a lot better for it.  Maybe not the outcome I would have preferred but a very close second best.
As I’ve got older I’ve had less time for social drama, and have actively avoided it so it doesn’t get in the way of what I want to achieve.  Yet, we write about people and their dramas and so I often think a flaw of mine is removing myself from those.
Anyways, I feel a lot calmer, despite a few other things to stress about.
The day job is getting to unbearable stages.  I seem to have a work colleague that has it out for me, and I really don’t have the mental energy to deal with him right now.  At least work colleagues are being supportive and can see the problem.
And now I have two books out to stress about:  Book 1 with my agent, and book 2 with my beta readers.
There’s also this weird feeling you get when finishing a book.  It feels a bit like walking off the end of a travellator at an airport.  Your forward momentum feels suddenly arrested and it throws you off-balance.  After months of editing, of having your head stressing about various character interactions, lines of prose, dialogue and the like, suddenly you have… nothing.
The first thought is:  what do I do now?
I’m exhausted and my recent mental state shows that I really need to take a break.  I shouldn’t feel guilty about that.  Heck,  I have an edited draft of my second book in the series already done (and yes, it will need a lot more work but it’s progressed further than most would).
There’s a temptation to jump into book 3 but I really don’t want to start that just yet.  My agent might come back with edits for book 1 that might vastly alter events or characters.  I doubt it at this stage (hence why I’m happy to do a first draft of book 2) but a potential editor might want changes.  And that might mean having to make major changes to book 2.
Now, if the last couple of years has taught me anything, it’s that anything can be fixed in editing.  It ain’t easy but I don’t believe any book is totally broken.  There’s always stuff that can be salvaged.  But I don’t want to invest too much time into book 2, if there are to be major changes to book 1.  And book 3 could further compound that.
So my plan is to chill, reduce my stress and anxiety, and recharge.  That probably means a lot of watching TV and movies, and gathering ideas as I go.  I’ll probably come up with a rough synopsis for book 3 (as sometimes that’s needed for selling a trilogy to a publisher) but I’m not going to take book 3 any further than that until I hear back on books 1 or 2.
This is the writer equivalent of bed rest, and I probably need it.
If you want to follow more of my journey, then be sure to check me on my social channels.  Likewise, if you’d like me to expand on any point mentioned above, please say so in the comments.

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