A few thoughts I had today as I made the decision to not write, even though I have plenty of time to do so today, and instead just do some cooking, read a lot, sit outside on the deck...
...and it's because I don't feel any pressure to get some writing done like I used to. Most of that was internal, my-own-sense-of-urgency pressure, not really any external, you-owe-us-a-book pressure. But it was pressure still. I used to stare at the screen, refreshing facebook and twitter, refreshing my gmail, hating myself for all the wasted minutes of non-fiction-writing. It literally hurt. It made me angry, and I took it out on everyone the rest of the day. I needed to finish a book a year or everything about my "career" as a writer would fall apart, so I believed.
But now that I'm happily publishing e-books with Blasted Heath (and occasionally via self-publishing), now that I no longer have the ambition to get my book in front of a Big Five editor or two or three or five, now that I am without an agent and have no desire to get another one in the near future (basically because...why? Why would I even need one?), all that internal noise is gone. If I don't want to work on Lafitte #4 today, so what? I'm happy. If I don't want to return to the half-finished WORM and make edits in order to fix it before moving forward, it's no big deal. I'll get it done later.
I mean, I've been busy, don't get me wrong. ONCE A WARRIOR just came out in May, and I'm pretty sure I'll have something in the can before the end of the year, but the need to climb and push and shove has slipped away. Yes, I'm still jealous when my self-publishing or small press-published friends get a good deal with a bigger publisher (HAWKEN! [Shakes fist]), but it doesn't make me say (anymore), "I deserve a big book contract, so I need this next one to get me an agent who can sell it to so-and-so at Minoholland & Brown & FSG & Sons." Nope.
I just write 'em, edit them, and either let Al and Kyle run with it, or do it myself. When I get around to it.
And sip on cold, cheap beer on my deck while the pork butt smokes in the smoker this 4th of July.