I am forcing myself to take a month of revising one of the two books that is near completion. I need to look at it fresh.
But - argh! - I keep wanting to work on it. I hear of other people's book deals, and I want to not be sitting idly by while everyone else keeps working.
I have to remind myself that there are authors that write a first novel and then it takes them 10 years to come out with a second one. There are people like Junot Diaz (and no, I am NOT comparing myself to him - he's a great writer) who wrote a first book ("Drown," a collection of short stories, in 1997) and we're still waiting for his first novel that he keeps talking about (tentatively called "The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao" or something similar). It was exerpted in the New Yorker several years ago, and it was absolutely wonderful, but I wonder when the whole thing is coming out. It takes time to write a book. So I have to stop paying attention to the listservs I'm on where people just sold four-book deals.
There is such anxiety out there from leaving projects unfinished, though. Each week, I get Publisher's Lunch Weekly, listing all of the previous week's publishing deals. I read it breathlessly to make sure no one has just sold something like mine.
I have a few other ideas for books I want to start, but if I do, it will take years to finish them. To create a whole world, with backstory and unique characters and unique plots and problems, and keep it interesting for 300 pages, is no mean feat.
And it IS possible to sell a book just on a proposal and a few chaps, if you've been published before. But not all agents will do it. It depends on the book, too. Agh, frustrating.
So there is an article in New York Magazine this week about a guy who started mastrubating in front of a woman on the subway. She took his photo. It ended up on the cover of the Daily News. A few people recognized it. He was exposed (literally) as a popular restauranteur.
So New York Mag has an interview with him this week and the last paragraph is him saying, "Well, if she met me, I'm sure she'd think, 'Hey, interesting guy. He owns a cool restaurant.' I bet she'd even go out with me."
Is that arrogant, or what?
It really IS going to snow a little tonight. So much for my April Fool!
When I was in college, I said as an April Fool that Hillary Clinton would be our commencement speaker. And she was!
Okay, I just looked up Junot Diaz on Google to see when his next book is coming out. Someone who just saw him read wrote this on a blog:
Of, course Junot rocked the house. He read excerpts from the piece he read at [the VONA Workshop], "The Sun, The Moon, The Stars". He also read from the novel, "A Cheater’s Guide to Love" that he has been working on for several years now. From what I heard last night, once he’s finished it and gets it in the hands of the publisher, it's going to be amazing. I don't know what the delay is, but whatever it is, it has nothing to do with the man’s skills. He’s got game.
Yes, what IS the holdup? I Googled the "Cheater's Guide" and there are websites that say it was going to come out in 1997. I guess he's still working on it. I'm sure, as this person says, "It's going to be amazing." But it's not even listed on Amazon, so that means it's at least six months off.
Well, sorry you had to read about my literary frustrations on my blog again, but at least now you know the answer - if you're a friend of mine - to why I keep saying I'm working on a book, but it's not actually done.
Disclaimer: I was in high school with Diaz, but that's not why I praise his work - in fact, I praise it in SPITE of my jealousy. I really do love his straightforward writing style. I don't think he liked me then, anyway; I was a complete geek and grade-grubber and he was a ... school-hater (but in some ways, I imagine, still a geek).