So I turned the latest book (DOG AND DRAGON) in on Wednesday. At some stage Toni will read it, and hopefully like it. At some stage the Australian Dollar will strengthen to a 10 year peak and I will get paid. Currency manipulators could hire me.
For a day or two I just had pure burnout. Glad to go out and fish and do some of the vast list of round-tuits that have built up. Dive for Abalone, cover myself in gooey little bits of it. (What? Do you mean you DON'T? Oh. But it is so good for your fur. Honestly, ask any hairy chested damsel out there. Really, you need to try it. Especially you poor bald-chested folk. It stops the deposition of all that fat on chest too. That only happens to cold chests to protect them. You can see this because of the hypertophy in the ones with insufficient clothes to keep warm.) Then I got onto chasing people who are late paying for shorts, and trying to sort out just WHY we're still waiting on CRAWLSPACE AND OTHER STORIES (Tomorrow, we are promised. We will see), and to follow up on the contracts for WITHOUT A TRACE. I even had a go with Audacity (programme, not lady-of-ill repute) reading one of my shorts aloud. I want to put this up somewhere and am not too sure how or where. - So ideas welcome*
Now I am starting on phase two of recovery. Which is reading fiction again. The latter part of a book just lacks time and I read nothing except research material. Now, I don't know about the rest of you but there are books / authors I turn to get myself wanting to write again. Call it hero worship if you like. For me it's Zelazny - probably 'I Immortal' right now, or 'Jack of Shadows' - and a good happy wallow in a Heyer or two. A Pratchett - Probably Small Gods or Pyramids, but possibly my friend Moist Von Lipwig. And probably a Michael Scott Rohan - who I suspect is an author's author as he never really hit the audience spot that Jordan or GRRM did - but appeals almost infinitely more to me. Then I might read Goblin Reservation or Way Station again just to be reassured that rural writers had readers. After this I'll move onto some newer fiction, some of which I will hate. But returning to these roots is what shapes me and makes me desire to be a writer. Any books that do this for you?
Phase 3 will be writing proposals as the voices start clamoring to get out, and maybe a short or two. And then, once more, body, mind and soul into the book-pit. At which point some Kindly One** will intervene with edits or proofs or something, and I will have extracate myself and worse, get back in. Usually this stage is reached in about 2-3 weeks, with goatgaggers (Heirs of Alexandria books) taking me longer to recover from. They're much longer books.
So: as we've all said - never write one book/story... how do you guys cycle back in? Do the books you read shape the direction your next book will take? They do for me.
*Slice and 'where the monkey keeps its nuts' are not ideas. They are places. Geography.
** You should get a better Classical Mythological education if you want to follow my obscure sarcasm. Sneaking in 'in jokes' in your prose is one of the small compensations for the pay-rates.