As I sit here, listening to the sound of rain hammering the window hours before dusk on an already warm Tuesday morning there’s a bittersweet feeling that accompanies the rainfall. In the early hours before dawn, before most people are awake I have made the final wraps on the first draft of book 3 of the Jesse Stone Series and now am looking at a headlong jump into editing of both book 2 and 3 at the same time.

There’s always a strange mix of emotion that comes with such accomplishments, from euphoria of completion to anxiety riddled panic of “what’s next?”. Even though there’s a long list of edits to be made and more plot outlines than I can count on one finger, there’s still an urgency of the unknown that comes with finishing a project. Currently every step forward is a new step. A progress I’ve never made before, a step forward toward a dream not yet finished. And there’s a slew of anxiety riddled questions that follow. What if I can’t write another book? What if I don’t want to write another book? What if I get bored or want to quit again? 

And the only real solution to solving these issues is to actually sit and write, but that doesn’t always come so easy. In fact, writing book three took months of staring at a blank computer screen willing myself to write even a few words before the energy began flowing again. And it isn’t always energy either. Sometimes it’s focus, motivation and discipline that falls short. Of course, there’s  the never ending “just do it’s” and “just show up” that are really just useless cheerleading banter that doesn’t actually offer any real understanding. After all, we are only human. Sometimes we’re sick, sometimes we’re tired and sometimes we just don’t want too.

This is essentially what my brain has looked like the past couple of months struggling in and out of writing. As I move into the next thirty years of my life I wonder if it’ll get easier. If the anxiety of finish a book or a series or watching it be published will get any easier with time. I wonder if I want it to. Would it be easier? Or would it be just as routine as waking up in the morning and staring listlessly at English lessons before the sun is up. I guess it’s just one thing time will answer for me. The only real answer is to just keep swimming.

Say it with words,

Maggie Burleson

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