And Chris is in full edit mode on the new Twit Publishing Presents: PULP! Winter/Spring 2011. Which means I, Craig Gabrysch, am writing the posts for the next few weeks.
There are many things for which I’m thankful. One of them is that I’m not an editor. I don’t have to suffer from cramped hands, sore neck muscles, or maddeningly persistent red ink on my fingers. I just get a half-crazed, wild-eyed brother that comes in every couple hours to demand I make a final decision on an edit.
Also, I get stuck blogging.
It could be worse.
No, really. It could be.
The problem with writing blogs is the same as writing anything. Coming up with good ideas. I’m not talking about ideas in general, because I have plenty of those. I’m talking about good ones.
So, to buy myself some time, I want to talk about what it was like creating the first installation of Twit Publishing Presents. About the heady early days of putting out your first book. Of the tears, laughter, drinking, and chain smoking as you and your business partner scream at each other about whether or not a comma belongs somewhere. Not whether or not it should go there, because that’s easy, but whether or not it really belongs there. The heroic amounts of coffee, the patient line-by-line analysis of a 222 page proof, the deep discussions of theme, story selection, cover design, marketing, etc.
Honestly, the best part of putting out a book is the day you say: “There, it’s finished. Send it to print.”
The worst part about it comes a week after that, when you’ve finished your vacation from the computer desk, after your spine has straightened to a more traditional and evolutionarily beneficial angle, and your hands have unclenched from a mouse-gripping claw. Because, after that week, you begin your quest for new stories for the next book.
That second book needs to be completed just as badly as the first did. It’s still screaming for you to create it.
And that’s when you realize it was just the novelty of the situation that hid your hand cramps and mental aches. The newness of the grand adventure is gone. Now it’s just some other grand adventure, the likes of which you’ve already suffered through once before. Sure, you’ll find satisfaction at the end of the process, when you have a second volume of stories to live next to your first. But it just won’t feel the same. Because you know you’ll be working on the next book before this one’s even finished.
Imagine Frodo getting shaken awake from his bed two years after he destroyed the ring. Gandalf lets him know a second ring has been forged. Frodo just looks up at him, mouth open. He blinks mechanically. Three words are uttered: “You’re kidding, right?”
Doing a second book is kinda like that. Minus the ring wraiths, of course.
So, next week, I’m going to skip the story selection and editing processes (I’ll leave those for Chris) and go right for for the jugular: Layout.