It’s 2:29 am, and I’ve just sent off the manuscript of my sixth book to my editor.

I need a nap.

A long, long, long, long, long, long nap.

People tend to offer their congratulatory wishes when this happens, and I always appreciate it. Yet I’m never in a congratulatory mood. The book needs to be edited, fact checked, legally checked, cut, pasted, twisted, turned. I’m working with a new editor, who might hate my style of writing (long lead-ins; meandering life stories). Even if he loves my style of writing, he’ll return the manuscript with 8,021,321 red marks—each one am incision to my wrists.

I never do this justice, but writing a book is the closest (physically) I’ll come to delivering a baby. You nurture the thing for 1 1/2 years (or so); soothe it, caress it, try and make it perfect. I haven’t gone a day without working on this project (or, at the very least) thinking about it. One becomes obsessed and consumed and absorbed. I want it to be perfect, though perfection doesn’t exist. I want it to be loved, but also discussed, but also respected. And yet, mostly, I want to feel good about it. Which I sorta do and sorta don’t.

Fuck—I’m doing a bad job here. Writing a book drives a person to the brink of insanity. You’re inside your own head, lost in thought, trapped in desperation, trying to find the perfect word, even if there is no perfect word. I used to be this outgoing guy who craved companionship. Now, thanks to another visit to book hell, I’m a hermit, sitting alone in the corner of a Starbucks, snarling at the high school kids who dare talk loudly on their cell phones. I wear the same clothes repeatedly, I rarely shave, I probably smell like crap and I’ve taken to drinking coffee (something I never used to do). Heck, I’m one foot away from whores and crack pipes.

Now I need something else to do.

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