I feel like I’m at the end of a movie, where there’s a bunch of people standing in the sunlight just in front of the entrance of some cave. They’ve been there for hours, days, weeks, waiting to see if the person who went in–young, foolhardy, heart full with some crazy mission–might possibly come out. And they’ve just given up hope, they’re shaking their heads and beginning to disperse. And then there’s a rumble of something, a shift in the air, and the person bursts through the earth–older, wiser, and covered in some crap-like substance–into the joyous awaiting day.
I finished my revision. It’s been a month of me sucking down Diet Dr. Pepper and Powerade, eating microwave popcorn, and twitching. I’ve come out from under the earth to discover that there’s a world with sky. Except there’s no one waiting at the other side of the cave for me, other than annoyed people to whom I owe emails and phone calls, the guy who does collections for our sewer water bill, the cats, who still think I should be working on my lecture, and my editor, waiting to give me more revisions. And instead of caked on crap-like substance, I’m covered in microwave popcorn goo, self-hatred, and an excess of adverbs.
I wrote the first draft this way, too–in some crazy fever dream. It was fun, at the time. This was less fun. And I have to wonder if there are people out there who can just write steadily–instead of working in these insane bursts, they just sit down and do their work every day and manage to pay their sewer bill at the same time.
Which, actually, I should probably go do right now.