Four months

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I have four months to finish my latest book project, and I’m losing my brain.

This is nothing new, as the wife likes to remind me. Whenever books are due I lose my brain. I can’t help it. Books are hard, and while I can’t complain about doing what I love, I can relate the internal struggles of doing what I love. Because love is hate and hate is love and I wish I smoked pot. Because it seems that’d make my life of book writing somewhat easier. At least until my editor says, “What the hell is this?”

With every book deadline, my health anxieties flare up. What’s that lump? My hand feels numb. I’m limping. With every book deadline, I have moments of severe life panic. Are we OK financially? Did we make a mistake moving here? I need more friends. Where’s Emmanuel Lewis? I tend to wake up most mornings and grunt. Ugh, another day …

I’ve interviewed 500 people, and all the transcripts are printed out. So, as I write this, I’m sitting in a coffee shop window, trying to sort through the mess. It’s ridiculously hard, because there are pieces here, pieces there, crumbs beneath the table, morsels missing. I’m trying to keep it together, but I’m falling apart. This is how I feed my family, so there’s no optional deadline. The book must be in by year’s end. Only I’ve just recently started writing. So … ugh.

There’s a line from American Beauty, when Kevin Spacey’s character takes a job at a burger joint. “I want the job with the least amount of responsibility.” Shit, right now so do I.

But I’ve got 150,000 words to write.

And four months to write them.

Scratch that. Three months and 29 days.

I hate this.

But I love this.