I’ve been quiet in this space for a few weeks. Okay, four. But I have a good excuse. I’ve been suffering from PTBD – Post Traumatic Book Disorder. My partner in crime, Julie Sparkman, and I pushed “send” on March 31, sending Unhitching From the Crazy Train through cyberspace and ultimately into our editor’s inbox. When I saw the word “sent” pop onto the screen, I literally started laughing hysterically and threw myself headfirst onto the table. See for yourself.
You need to know that for the last few weeks, I have had no desire to write a single thing. Apart from the random Facebook post, I’ve been content with simply signing my name to tax forms and school permission slips and then laying my pen down and walking away. Too many words. I’ve written too many words. My PTBD probably has something to do with the fact that I submitted the manuscript for 30 Days of Hope for Adoptive Parents in April of last year, and then jumped straight into the Crazy Train project. As a rookie writer, it’s good to have work, but OH MY GOLLY GRACIOUS. So much work. So intense. So consuming. So can’t enjoy life for months on end because you feel like you should always be writing. Watching a movie? I should be writing. Lunch with a friend? I should be writing. Cooking new recipes that end up looking like this?
Definitely should be writing.
Post submission, I hurled myself into a mini writing hibernation. Because I went MIA, I don’t feel like I tied up the all the loose ends from the Crazy Train endeavor. I didn’t give the process a proper farewell. If you’ll indulge me a few minutes of your time, I’d like to introduce “Thank You Notes, Writer’s Edition.”
Can I get some thank you writing music, James?
Thank you, public library, for being my office for the last six months. You sheltered me, you comforted me, and you never caught me sneaking in my hot drinks. Sucker.
Thank you, retired man with your newspaper, seated nearby in the library, for standing up for your fellow “co-workers” by boldly complaining about the Gloria Estefan-esque karaoke dance party that was going down in the children’s nook. Thank you for fighting for better working conditions for the little people by demanding that the other little people (aka, the dancing, Spanish-singing children) had-ta-go. I’m sure those kids had been looking forward to that special show, but for goodness sakes, let’s draw the line at singing Spanish music into a microphone in a library.
Thank you, every college student that visited my library office in the last six months, for making the effort to at least open your textbooks and study guides as you proceeded to play Candy Crush on your phone the entire time you were there.
Thank you, teenaged boy sitting behind me, for enjoying an action movie on your computer without using headphones. We all actually came to the library that day hoping to listen to the Fast and the Furious, so you were incredibly thoughtful to provide the means. Thanks for ignoring my steely gazes and oh-so-subtle coughs. You were right; those hints had nothing to do with you.
Thank you, McDonald’s, for providing free wi-fi, colorful macaroons, and countless cups of tea. I wish you had also provided a power outlet.
Thank you, family, for not calling in professional help when you found me sobbing in the closet, declaring “I quit.”
Thank you, co-author Julie Sparkman, for not firing me when I tried to sneak phrases into the manuscript like “skillz” and “mic drop.” For what it’s worth, I still think we could have pulled that off…
Thank you, Google, for providing spellings and definitions for common words that no longer looked or sounded like words to me, due to the fact that I had been writing words for nine thousand lifetimes. Thanks for lifting my spirits with your sarcasm: “Did you mean condescending?” A simple correct spelling of the word would have sufficed. I don’t need your lip.
Thank you, family, for forgiving my blank stares in those last few weeks when you asked, “What’s for dinner?”
And finally, thank you dear reader, for enduring my multiple personalities on social media as I launched a book and wrote a book at the same time. I’m sure I confused you with my mixed messages of “Oh my gosh, writing is so hard, you guys! Make it stop!” and “How awesome it is to be an author! Buy my new book!” It’s kind of like being pregnant and holding the baby, both at the same time. It’s like simultaneously saying, “This is so hard—when will it end?!” and “Look at my beautiful baby—he is so worth it!”
It is worth it. I wouldn’t trade my three book projects for anything. But I’m sure you’ll understand if I stick with Twitter for a little while. 140 characters? That’s a little demanding, but…okay. Done.