The last two weeks been the week before and the week after my birthday (August 7th) where I been in deep thought—very dangerous but the planet didn’t explode—trying to answer the one essential question in life: What does the big four-oh really mean? The answer: Not a whole lot.
Physically, I don’t feel all that different. Still working out at the gym and eating less to lose weight (lost ten pounds over the last month). I have a compulsive desire to remain clean shaven. I’m now shaving every day since shaving every other day wasn’t cutting it anymore. I still miss my Amish beard from a few years ago. Emotionally, I’m still melancholy as usual when contemplating my past and my future. All of which is tied to my work as a writer rather than growing older.
The rough draft of my first novel is on ice until I start editing in October. The rough draft of my second novel is floundering at the one-third mark (middles are so exciting), and may be abandon when the time comes. Other projects are dying on the back burner. Being unemployed for six months is creating a lot of uncertainty with some days being like this or like that, and that’s affecting my ability to write. (No, it’s not writer’s block; I can still write myself out of a paper bag if I can find the cattle prod.) If I was writing full time, I would be doing a very poor job indeed.
The worst part is all my short stories and poems (40 pieces) are still circulating in the slush piles, and I’m on pins-and-needles waiting for a response. August can be a cruel month for waiting for something—anything—to arrive by mail or email. Everyone in the publishing world is on vacation.
The next year will require a lot of hard work as I finish two novels and a short story collection before I look for an agent. When that happens, I’ll be working on my third novel and waiting for an agent to tell me that I won the publishers sweepstakes.