There’s a reason for no blog posts lately. No, it isn’t something extremely interesting, like I was climbing Mount Everest, or I set sail with a group of nice pirates. Basically, it’s this, a secret my agent let me in on when I asked about my contract: nothing happens in August. Actually, it seems like many people take that time off in the publishing industry. At any rate, it’s not a great time to look for an agent, or a publisher. Or sign a contract.
I remember when my job used to have a down time. We lived for it during the manic summer months, when we worked all hours and all days to clean toilets, clear trails, and in general try to make summer visitors at the campgrounds and forests and parks happy. I would pull up to a spot festooned with tents, seeing people happily lying in hammocks or paddling on the lakes. Invariably someone would march up to my work truck mad about something: the lack of toilet paper, or conditions on a trail, or the guy who tried to steal his campsite. It was my job to fix it.
Through it all, I knew that winter would come and blessedly, things would slow down. A quieter, gentler season would arrive, one where we could take days off, where our phones didn’t ring double time. I don’t remember when those days came to an end, but there is no slow season in the world of recreation anymore. That’s why I can’t begrudge agents and the like their August. It’s a sensible way to work. I think everyone should have one of those slow months.
So I wait to hear news of my book and wrestle with the next one. Is the world ready for another memoir, or should I scrap it? This darn novel–why does the plot keep backfiring? Why can’t I be like the writers I know, who live by careful outlines and alaways know where their books are going? But I can’t. Just like I am unable to be like my hiking partner, all organized with her stuff sacks, I will always be a writer in a state of chaos. I’m okay with that.
It’s September now and things should pick up in the writing world. It’s all right to have a breather now and then. I hope for one too, someday.