Part of the point of this blog was to chronicle my thought processes, choices, and roads not taken while writing my book. The best laid plans of mice and men … I realized all too quickly that I could either blog, or finish the book (almost) on schedule.
I opted for the latter, and I’m happy to say it’s DONE, and only 20% longer than planned. To sum up the last few months, I’ll just say it reminded me of finishing my dissertation. If you’ve never, you should, if only so you’ll understand 1) how much fun it is to dig as deeply as possible into an idea (given the damn wordcount restrictions, of course), plus 2) what a relief it is to STOP writing and get caught up on the outside world. Two crucial differences: THIS time my goal was to write something more than an handful of people would ever want to read; and at the end of the dissertation, one has the absolute certainty that one will have the opportunity to sit down with a couple people who’ve actually read it and are prepared to discuss it in detail. (In my case it was a developmental psychologist and a constitutional law professor — being interdisciplinary can be so invigorating, sometimes.) Of course, when you’re defending you’re ALSO worried that these people’s opinions could be that you’ve just wasted a few years, so I suppose it’s a mixed blessing.
To celebrate, I’m avoiding science fiction for a while. Currently on the nightstand are Libba Bray (magic in a 19th c. finishing school) and a volume of essays on the cult of Mithras (non-fiction, but just as interesting). Oh, and Mieville’s Embassytown … I expect the “no-sf” rule to crack around Thursday, and must be prepared.