My brain, it seems, does not transition well between imaginary and real life, and this translates to missed appointments, a house that gets exponentially dirtier every day, leaving the flour out of my banana nut muffin recipe, forgetting to call friends back or just simply not wanting to speak to anyone. Hermititis has officially set in.
The problem is, no one understand this delicate state de l’artiste. My family is not used to me having to do so much actual work on deadline before, and they don’t quite get what I do, anyway. (“Boy, Mom, I have to go to school for seven hours and all you do is sit around in your PJs and make up plots!”) Though I try to impart on them the importance of this stage of my fledgling new career, that half my advance won’t arrive until said revision is accepted by my editor, that my future career depends upon this debut novel being a strong seller out the gate, they still look at me blankly and say, “Okay, so what’s for dinner?”
Me: What? Dinner? It’s seven already, you’re kidding me! I’m so sorry, I was in the middle of raising the stakes in my climax scene!
No one ever warned me that the pre-publication revision stage would result in Foggy Brain Syndrome, which gives another disorder I suffered from, Pregnancy Brain, a run for its money. Life has somehow become the dream, and the world of my book-in-progress, reality. I am not fully functional in the noggin’, and I can’t quite explain why.
There are two main things I’ve learned to do to compensate:
• As soon as I hear of XYZ activity happening on XYZ date, I force myself to get up off my ever-expanding writer’s derriere and immediately write it down in the calendar. I refer to my calendar three times a day minimum as I can’t keep R.L. details in my head for more than an hour at a time.
• If something important is happening, I write it on a post-it and stick it on the door. I know my family was thinking about institutionalizing me when they saw yesterday’s Post-It, WATER THE DOG.
Some of my single friends have suggested that I traipse off to a hotel room for a night to write. Yes, but I am sloooow, and that would be some very expensive paragraphs. What I really need, to be honest, is a cabin in Lake Tahoe for the week. But there seems to be no way to convince my family of the urgency of this request. Funny, because I could probably get the entire thing done in that week, but oh, how they’d whine. “We want to come, too. You don’t get to have all the fun!”
So I continue on as I am, trying desperately to turn out something grand with one hand while trying to keep my head screwed on straight with the other. I hope I don’t alienate the world in the process, because the thing is, there’ll come a day when I’ll really need readers.