I had a complicated weekend. On Friday at about 1 pm, I clicked “Send” on an email to an agent. Then I went out for burritos. You better believe I had a beer as well.
I’ve been an emotional invalid ever since. I take a nap in the afternoon and cry at the smallest things. I have an intense intolerance of other people. I don’t know why it’s affecting me this way, but it is.
BFF (aka best friend in the world) came over on Thursday night. I was a bit shaky as I told her, “I have to do one more scan for typos and fix one section. Then I can submit my manuscript.” I have been inputting edits for years. I knew it wouldn’t take the whole day.
“How do you feel?”
“I have no idea. It’s been part of my life for six years. I mean, I married DP after five years. I am married to this manuscript. That sounds dumb, but you know what I mean.” She did, of course, which is why we are BFFs.
Later in the evening she said, “Are you sure it’s only the book that is bothering you?” BFF is not a writer. The week before I cried in front of her for about the third time in our twenty-mumble-year acquaintance.
So there I was in a bar, trying to explain to my friend why writing a book has made me a fragile shell of a human.
YES IT’S THE BOOK.
The weirdest thing about the book is that it is one of the biggest things I’ve ever done in my life, and I can’t explain it properly, and no one knows about it because even I don’t walk around telling people that I’m writing a book. (Actually that’s a total lie, I do. When you work in academia you can tell people that you’re writing a book without sounding like a weirdo.) I guess what I’m trying to say is that no one but other writers understand the enormity of learning how to write, edit, and finish a book.
(Aside: They do not teach you how to construct a book when you go to poet school. I asked my adviser how to order my thesis, and he was like, well, you just read it and know. Thanks. That was helpful. I most certainly did not know.)
This week it’s back to my editing, teaching, tutoring regular life. I might write a poem in a few weeks. If I feel like it. Maybe an email or two. Maybe a blog post on how to order a poetry manuscript. We shall see.