So my (ex)literary agent called yesterday to terminate our relationship. After a year of failing to place a novel I'd written he finally decided to throw in the towel. I don't really blame him as I'd written off writing last year citing burnout and the general downward trajectory my life had taken since taking writing seriously.
The day I'd submitted that final draft of that particular novel to my agent, I was living in my friend's back room, hadn't worked in months, lost my girlfriend, and was probably drinking too much (probably still do lol). That state of affairs wasn't entirely related to writing, but writing definitely contributed to it as I tend to obsess over a task until complete to the exclusion of all other tasks, including living an acceptable lifestyle.
So, once I was represented and on submission, I forgot about writing and concentrated on getting my life back together. It was easy to do considering I had so many aspects of my life needing attention. And attend I did. Within the last year, I've earned a half million dollars through a re-constructed career, moved into a luxury condo with a fantastic downtown view, and started a new relationship. I even managed to squeeze a month of vactioning in Scotland during the Edinburgh summer festival. Because I had a novel on submission to publishers, it didn't matter to me that I wasn't writing anymore as 'things were in motion'; I was still tackling that particular problem. Anyday I could get that phone call. Then I got it ...
"You're fired! Take your schlock someplace else!" (Paraphrasing)
First instinct: Query that novel again.
Second instinct : Finish the second draft of the other novel I'd been working on but abandoned.
"Fuck it, I'll get back on the horse."
"You sure about that? You know what will happen don't you?"
"Who are you?"
"He who knows better."
"What will happen?"
"You'll start writing again. The job, the condo, the girlfiend ....whooosh! Gone baby, gone; one at a time, slowly but surely. Nothing to show but words on paper that nobody wants to read much less pay for."
"I'll just write a couple hours a day."
"Who do you think you're kidding? It'll be all day, every day. You can't do it any other way. The ship that is your life will start to sink again.. slowly, surely ... like the Andrea Something."
"Doria. No, I'll just-"
"You could be a millionaire in two more years then live off the investment income. You can write then. Until that time, just keep - that - fuckin - laptop - shut."
"I gotta get this problem tackled! I promised myself! Just a couple hours a day. I'll set an alarm or something."
"How much time have you spent in the last year on writing messageboards?"
"And today? How much time did you spend composing this post?"
"A few minutes... I dunno... maybe fifteen mintues. Not much-"
"The Hang Seng index opens in 90 minutes. Instead of watching your foreign investments, you're writing an imaginary conversation. See, it's already begun."
"Just for a while longer, right?"
"Just for a while longer. What's a year in the publishing industry?"