I had just had a huge fight with my daughter, which ended in my physically wresting her iPad away (not easy; she is very, very strong), when I received a one line message from my editor: “You’d better get that book in if you want it on the fall list.” The jig is up. Major panic. Heart thumping. All my previous reflections on writing process seem like a farce at this moment. The ony reality right now: I had an October first deadline, and I can’t possibly make it. To make matters worse, my husband is going off to Paris on a research trip for five days starting thursday. Can I write two chapters in two days? No way. Although I know exactly what I want to say in them and all my research is done, I’ve never been that kind of writer. I have to pause and catch my breath at (ir)regular intervals. I call my agent, and find myself in tears on the phone with him. It’s embarrassing; at the beginning of the evening I was the mom, and now I have become the twelve-year-old who doesn’t have her assignment done. He is very understanding (he has three kids) and will call the press today and find out exactly how much lee-way I have. But one way or another, I’m going to have to dedicate myself to this book with single-mindedness over the next few weeks. So: I will now take out the garbage, make a second cup of half-caf, and disappear from the regular world. I will keep you posted (in a minimalist way). Wish me luck. As one of our members, Cris Gomes says, “May Anne be with me”!
PS, After sending this to Natalie earlier in the day, my agent talked to the press today, and I have until the end of October if I want to get it published on schedule. I’m pretty certain I can do this, so long as I stay focused and don’t get too unmeshed in my daughter’s adolescent angst.