Start something new

It seems to be the time for it.

It’s the “morning after”. There remains little to be said that hasn’t been said already. Good bye, Maverick. Good luck, Obama.

But it’s like those happily-ever-after stories. The election was the endgame, and afterwards… well… they lived happily ever after, you betcha. And this is a fine case in point where writing and writerly life seem to throw up a beautiful parallel to the real world. In your writing life, getting a contract in your hot little hand (be it short story or a trilogy doorstop) is like winning the damned election. By a landslide. By acclaim.

But… okay… you’ve been elected. Now what?

In writing terms, as it is in the parallel world that makes up our reality, what it boils down to is this. Drink your champagne. Throw your confetti. Shout and applaud and scream and holler and hug complete strangers in a wave of euphoria. Return again and again to touch the contract to make sure that it hasn’t been a figment of your imagination.

Then, on the morning after, wake up after a few hours’ snatched sleep, and look at the changed landscape of your world – and realise that it isn’t the landscape that’s really changed, it’s you. And that this place where you rested for your moment of triumph and celebration is not a destination. It’s a wayside stopping place – a place to rest, draw breath, take stock. But the road goes on, stretching in front of you, frightening, inviting. And the you who travelled it yesterday is not the same you who will set foot on it again today.

What’s the best thing to do when you’ve finished a novel or a story, when you’ve submitted it, when it (God willing) gets accepted, contracted, published? What’s the ONLY thing to do, if you’re on this road for the long haul…?

Step on the road again. Continue your journey (even though it feels as though you might be starting a brand new one, you are, in fact, continiuing…). Start something *else*.

Start something new.

On the morning after, I have.

This will be the novel that gets written AE (After Election). There may or may not be new light on the road ahead – I can’t tell if it really is a new sun in the sky or if it’s just that enough leaves have fallen from the trees that more light is reaching the ground – but it’s light, and I can see it, and it’s calling, and it’s a new day. And I want to know what’s around the next bend in the road.

Step into the light.

Start something new.

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There are 2 comments. Get the RSS feed for comments on this entry.

  1. 1. cindy

    happy about obama. don’t envy
    him his position. there is so much
    expectation!

    congrats on starting something new.
    i’ve tentatively started the contracted
    sequel. def scary. i’m not much of
    a rough drafter. i’ll revise forever, tho. ha!

    can’t wait to hear what your new novel
    is about, alma!

  2. 2. Kelly McCullough

    Conveniently, today is the first day of full time work on the final WebMage book.

Author Information

Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander is a novelist, short story writer and anthologist whose books include High Fantasy ("Hidden Quen""Changer of Days"), historical fantasy ("Secrets of Jin Shei", "Embers of Heaven"), contemporary fantasy ("Midnight at Spanish gardens") and YA (the Worldweavers series, the Were Chronicles). She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and two cats. Visit site.

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