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Click and send

Click and send.

That’s it.

The end to three years, actually more like four years, of intense, focused, rollercoaster work: A book.

Back in the old days, when I first started writing books, you printed out the entire manuscript and sent it in the mail to your editor. I loved watching the pages shoot out from the printer. I’d leave the room and come back, and the printer would still be going, working on my work. I loved straightening that stack of paper, aligning the edges, eyeing the height, feeling the heft. I rubberbanded it, placed it in the passenger’s seat and drove it down to the UPS store where the woman behind the counter knew me. “Another book?” she asked. And I would smile and nod.

And off it went. In a truck, in a plane, in another truck. A satisfying journey.

Still, the end was not and has never been a happy moment for me, despite the “Congratulations!” and “It must be so great to have it done!” and “You must be so excited” comments from others.

I’m not glad to finish. I am not excited about finishing. When I’m excited is when I’m writing, when I’m immersed a subject, hip-deep in the world of the book, all cylinders firing. I am thrilled to be so thoroughly absorbed. My life has a shape. My days have an order. There is focus to my reading, my thinking, my conversation, even my dreaming. I love the way writing demands tunnel vision, the way it obliterates the multi-tasker in me. The book is like a planet, and I am its moon. I love the tug of that gravitational pull. I never want to be released.

But then I am. At least, back in the old days, the end had a ritual to it, a moment captured and remembered in the weight of the manuscript in my hand. For a long time now, at least four books, I think, the end has been signaled only by click and send.

And so I click and send. And look for a new planet to circle.

4 comments

1 Kim { 06.06.18 at 5:38 pm }

This is such an important and brave book. Good on you for getting it out there. Notice no ‘congratulations’. But congratulations.

2 Lauren { 06.06.18 at 10:57 pm }

I think it is the most important book I’ve written yet. And the bravery comes from the men in the writers’ group who allowed me into not just their world, but their hearts and minds.

3 Steven Finster { 06.06.18 at 6:55 pm }

Very cool – and congratulations! I am looking forward to it. I think I’ll be picking up dozens and dozens of new insights into an environment most never really know about.

4 Lauren { 06.06.18 at 10:56 pm }

If the book provides YOU with new insights–you with all your experience and the openness you bring to the job–I will be beyond delighted.

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