Nine weeks after the second day of the new year
That is not really the question. Of course you need to let go. It’s not a matter of ‘if’, it’s more a matter of ‘when’. And ‘when’ isn’t simple. Letting go is easier said than done.
No, Author isn’t being philosophical. It’s just that she is sitting at her desk, with all the materials of her next book for you—or perhaps it should already be called her current book—on one side, including a printout of the final manuscript itself, and that thick red folder she’s told you about in a previous post, the one with the editor-marked hardcopy of her next book, on the other side. (So that settles it. Current book is the just-completed one, and next book is, well, the next one. And by the way, Author needs a bigger desk.) And as she sits here, Author feels caught in that seam between her two books.
On the one hand, she can’t turn away from her current book, not just yet. Its print book cover isn’t ready. It will be soon, but as long as it’s not, that book, it’s content, is still within her reach. And as long as that’s the case, the thoughts are still there, the endless wondering if there is anything else she needs to do. Still, that doesn’t mean she can’t turn at least some of her attention to the next book. In a way she already has, she has hinted as much in the past. Author and Sister had decided to include a preview of it in their current book. But most of the work done so far on the next book has been on that preview. Perhaps it’s now time for Author to immerse herself fully in it, all of it, only it.
And she is ready, prepared to complete yet another path from thought to publication. Because that book, this next book, is pulling at her, too. And opening that red folder today, setting her eyes on that stack of papers that is the hardcopy of her draft, there was a feeling of anticipation in her, excitement. Author’s mind was still so very busy, so very tense, after days of ascertaining again and again that she has not forgotten anything in the current book, finalizing those last details that must have their due place, and yet, at that first look at this next book everything stopped, recalibrated, reenergized. And that moment, when she turned toward that new story, was a reprieve of sort. In it she was (almost) able to put current behind, and make the next the new now.
Conundrum aside, Author admits she loves being surrounded by her books. And so, with one book refusing to let go, relentlessly pulling at her to see if maybe she would give it yet another look, and the other vying for her undivided attention, demanding its due place in her mind and time, Author realizes that this feeling of being caught between two books will only be resolved when the current one is published, when it is out of her hands. And that’s fine. That’s how it is.
Tip: Know when it’s time to let go. Just think about what’s ahead. Better yet, immerse yourself in what’s ahead, keep your eyes, your mind and your actions on your next milestone.