What lies between the cover of a book? Well, there are pages, words, punctuation… But for an author, what lies between books is sadness, celebration, ennui, self-doubt…
I’m talking about the difference between what “literally” lies between the front and back cover of a book vs. the emotional rollercoaster that comes when one has written “the end” on one book and “chapter one” of the next book.
It’s not without reason that writers often get a reputation for being mad as snakes. It’s because of all of the “crazy” that lies between books!
The five stages of BBB, or “Batty Between Books”.
- Celebration – The first part of the week after I’ve written “the end” is generally filled with a celebratory flush. I might treat myself to some impulsive purchase. (This time, it was a dollhouse, 1:24 scale, cute as a darned button! It will be used as a prop for some marketing later on in the process.)
2) Sadness – This is understandable, in that I’ve just left off living with some very good friends, albeit fictional friends and now they’re going away for a little while. We’ll have a great reunion when I revisit them in a sequel book, but… yeah. My buds are gone. Those whacky, loving, sweet, maddening people I’ve been talking to for the past four months… gone on an extended trip. Sadness.
3) Ennui – listlessness as a result of dissatisfaction. Yes, I looked up the definition to make sure I was using the word properly and it very aptly describes the middle part of this week. The structure, that was built into my day when I hit the keyboard by 9 am every morning is gone, and I found myself at loose ends. There is just so much cleaning to be done. It’s been raining all week, so there’s no spring gardening prep work to be had. Just me, clunking into walls. I’ve made a couple of amazing dishes, one I call “Chicken Delish” that goes in the recipe keeper box, but my structure? Sigh. Ennui.
4) The Purr of Excitement – this comes on the other end of BBB. I’ve started thinking about the next book. You know, the one that is the favorite book you’ve ever written? Yeah. That one. It’s coming. I’m starting to feel the purr of excitement, the anticipation of reuniting with old friends.
5) Relief. I’m feeling the relief of having reached “the end”, the relief of shifting gears, focusing on marketing, formatting, flexing my other artistic muscles.
I’ve spent a lot of time this week playing in the other arts. Dabbling, drawing, some stop-motion animation, laying out a rough sketch of my “fictional” town. But now, it’s almost time to shift the gears again. I’m clearing off the top of my desk. I’m wiping down and giving my chalkboard a fresh coat of black paint. I’m dipping some pages into coffee to create a new notebook for outlining the next book in the series…
And I’m feeling a little less BBB. Just a little bit.