I hereby declare an official end to Deadline Season. There is much rejoicing throughout the land. Of my house.
The first half of this year (and a bit) were brutal. I wrote about a quarter of a million words, raced to hit deadline after deadline, and did a ton of other business-y stuff, revised a few books, did a few stories, worked on an anthology… all on top of day job, parenting, husbanding, etc.
But now the last novel I owe anyone this year has been revised and sent off. I am, admittedly, not entirely devoid of work — there’s still anthology editing going on, and I owe a few short stories over the coming months, and have promised a few reviews — but stories and editing are vastly easier than writing all those novels, which all had very tough deadlines (for various reasons). My nights and weekends are now no longer filled with endless work-work-work. I am so relieved and at peace. I wake up in the morning and feel psychically lighter.
Why, this past weekend, I actually went places with my wife and son! (Normally — for the past many months — my wife has taken him out of the house for at least a half day on Saturday and Sunday, sometimes a whole day, so I can get ungodly heaps of work done.)
We went to the Temescal Street Fair Sunday, and had a great time. Saturday I actually went and sat in a cafe by myself and read a book for a while! (And worked on a short story a little bit. Maybe I’m not so good at the not-working.)
I actually really enjoy writing. It’s writing under multiple deadlines, all of which I’m afraid I might blow, that stresses me out. And I’ve been working flat-out, doing three or four books a year, for… well, for years, honestly.
Which is why I’m taking things easy for the back half of 2013. I need a break — or I’ll break.
I’ll do this anthology work, write a few stories, some poetry. Maybe I’ll work on a contemporary fantasy novel I’ve wanted to do for a while (it is not stressful, as it has no deadline; the motivations are all intrinsic). But mostly I will hang out with my wife and son, see some friends, play lots of video games, sit in the yard and drink beer, do more cooking… Oh. I’m so happy, y’all.
My wife is going to be happier, too, since she won’t have to bear the brunt of childcare. And I am assured that I’m a pain in the ass to live with when I’m stressed, so she is already celebrating the return of the Tim Pratt of old.
Of course, my work schedule for 2013 is already filling up… But after a few months of downtime, I’ll be eager to work again anyway.