If you know me personally, this is old news, but with the exception of an excerpt back in July, I haven't written about it here. I wrote a book. A novella, to be specific. The first in a series. Huzzah!
I am self publishing this thing, because if there's one thing I like to do with middle men, it's cut them out. I haven't set a release date yet, but expect to see it for sale by the end of October. It's called Zeck. Tell your friends. Or your enemies, depending on how you feel about the book.
I have a lot of thoughts about this, mostly happy, many neurotic, but my main takeaway is this: I can write books! I've completed many short stories of varying quality over the years, but this is the first work of this length I've actually completed. I set out to write a coherent story of a specific kind, of a (more or less) specific length, and I did it.
The feeling I get from this is not so much pride (although there's some of that, too) as relief. I turned thirty this year. For weeks, maybe even months, leading up to my birthday, I felt like crap about it. I lingered on the border of depression while I thought about all of the things I hadn't done yet. All of the promises I'd made to myself in my twenties that I'd broken just by turning thirty before accomplishing a series of arbitrary goals. Then my birthday came and went. And I felt... fine? No, not just fine. Relieved. I spent so much time worrying about turning thirty, and the ends of all my dreams I guess it signaled or whatever (who knows what goes on in the head of a twenty-something?), and now that it's happened I don't have to fucking worry about it any more. I can focus on actually meeting those goals.
Finishing a book brings a similar sense of relief. I'm hardly even letting myself obsess over the fact that it's only one book, and that it's only a novella, and only a million other things that don't really matter, because I know I can do it now. It's no great achievement, but neither is turning thirty, and now that I've done both, I can stop worrying about it and start worrying about the sequel. I mean, this blog is partly about my neuroses, so it would be terrible if I didn't have anything to worry about anymore.