State of the first book.
Well, it has been a while since I have posted on the status of my book, so a status update is timely. Frustration is a big part of it right now. Feels like the whole world has stopped, which unfortunately includes my book. My editor has been hampered first by a big move, and then internet issues getting set-up in her new house in a new city. All things that can just happen, but when that all happens at the same time as the whole world is on lock-down, it just resonates a lot harder on me.
"Yeah, I know, whine, whine. Oh whoa is me." It has caused a bit of depression with me. After a couple of really hard years both mentally and physically, then the challenge of taking over as the GM of a business that had been in the red for many years and needed some clean-up. I finally felt like I had started to get a good handle on it all and was getting the business up to snuff, money was looking decent for both the business and myself, construction for expansion seemed to be coming together, the staff was good, marketing plans were in place, along with some great events, old inventory fixed, and then Covid-19 happened. Cancellation of all my well-placed plans came crashing down. Not able to do events. Marketing plans thwarted and hard to figure next moves with fluid state and county rules changing, Inventory that was set-up perfectly for the spring push now potentially over-stocked depending on how long this crisis last.
Now I keep telling myself we are not alone in this. Of course, everyone around the world is in the same boat, some much worse than I with businesses completely closed and total loss of income. I just wish it was one way or the other right now. Either normal business or we were closed. Then I would have had time to work on my book and could have potentially finished my second book. At least some satisfaction in work completed from that would have been satisfying. But I have been working more than ever for the last 5 weeks since this all hit hard averaging 65-70 hr work weeks that have left me exhausted on those days I am off. The first two weeks completely behind as I was forced to multitask doing several people's jobs as well as the two managerial positions I had already gotten used to doing and enjoying while saving the company money. But then throw in extra jobs to get done, a badly placed time for an outside consultant to deal with that was planned long before Covid-19, OEM issues, a new DMS system launching, along with the usual stresses of making sure payroll is correct for everyone especially during this time when all are worrying, and of course, dealing with staff issues in regard to the crisis both mentally and financially, you could say this was a maelstrom of stress. You can't even go out for lunch to get away for a half-hour, nobody is open other than drive-throughs. Weird times.
Now after all that whiny venting, let's list the good things. Health is good for us all. My wife and oldest daughter are still working like myself, so financially we are "o.k.", even though I expect a drop-off on income from my side with business being about 35% off normal. Definitely more family bonding going on. Been playing nighttime badminton with my girls which they got some LED light-up birdies to use which has been fun and tiring! Also more round table discussions before and after dinner which has been nice as well. More dog walks too! At least the weather has been mild. I am sitting outside right now on my back deck, shaded by a table umbrella with a mild wind blowing through the trees and a breeze on me in high 60's/low 70-degree clear weather. I can't complain about that. At work, the staff has also bonded more, helping each other get through this which was nice to see. In general, 97% of the people have been very nice and understanding and appreciative over all of our protocols for safety during the covid crisis, but of course, there is always the one who becomes a jerk about it and acting like everything should be normal business and is upset when things have changed.
I feel like over the last few years I have become much more a pessimist than the optimist I used to be. I really want to get back to my old self again but finding it hard to find my way back to that mentality. I can still bury myself in work which helps me get my mind off my troubles, and it is work I generally enjoy (a few times lately I have not), but can't seem to find the quiet time and peace of mind to explore my creative writing side because my space has several others in it right now, plus my mind is on my troubles and on my work too much to free up the creative side to work.
I need the time and money again to actually get out and enjoy life like I was used too. I guess its this work-home-work-home mentality with no end site right now that is making me anxious. Crazy times for sure.
So getting back to the title of this blog post, what is the state of my current novel. Nothing much has changed in over two months. Officially editor has stopped on Chapter 58 of 74. Query letter is only about 1/3 done, no synopsis yet, Current rate if the editor was to get back online, and figure a low number like one chapter per week, we are still 16 weeks away from completion, so not until the end of September. I have to get my mind off things like that out of my control. If finances were normal I would consider paying someone to finish the job for me, but they are not and there is a lot of uncertainty over the future regarding income. So risky to say the least. I guess I might get some quotes at least for doing the final 16 Chapters and see what they are before making any decisions on that idea. I would much rather stick with my great editor because of the repoir we have and all this time we have worked together to get her to this point. Life just gets in the way sometimes as we all know, especially when there is more than one person to factor in.
I will continue on into Book two if I can find some downtime to keep my creative side flowing and my mind off of this all. I hope those who read this understand my thoughts and concerns. That was the main reason why I started this blog, too show other writers the ebb and flow of the writing tide, and the challenges that come along the way. I wish it was easier to just whip it out, but that would not be doing all my hard work and the story justice before being fully fleshed out and edited. I shall serve no wine before its time!
As I keep telling myself, patience grasshopper, patience.