I should be writing, but I’m going to indulge myself with a brief blog post, first. At least, I hope it’ll be brief.
I have a variety of cool things in my office, but probably the crowning glory is the shelf of books I’ve written. I get great satisfaction from just sitting here looking at them all in a tidy row. But there’s also a significant part of me which puts each new book up on the shelf as it arrives and thinks check!…okay, where’s the next one?
This is not something that takes a few days or weeks to set in. It happens immediately. Probably part of that is–well, for example, I just got PRETENDER’S CROWN a couple weeks ago, and A FANTASY MEDLEY the day after that, and they went up on the shelf. check!
But I’ve already written WALKING DEAD, TRUTHSEEKER, and more than half of DEMON HUNTS. I am *so far ahead* of the books hitting the shelves that while getting the books onto *my* shelf is extremely satisfying (and I still jig around like an idiot for about three days after getting a box of shiny new books), it’s also just the culmination of something I started years earlier, and I’ve moved on to something else.
I had a really, really specific goal back when I first sold, with regards to shelf space. I wanted, when somebody walked into the sf/f section of a bookstore, for them to see a whole chunk of space dedicated to C.E. Murphy’s books. As of next Tuesday, if all my books are on the shelf (not including the anthologies, because I’m pretty sure WINTER MOON gets shelved with Mercedes Lackey, not me, and A FANTASY MEDLEY isn’t likely to be in stores), there’ll be eight C.E. Murphy titles taking up a visible amount of space. I have, hands down, accomplished what I was after.
But I think a little part of what also drives me is the fact that *I’m* three books ahead of what’s on the shelves, so I sort of always feel like I’m playing catch-up. Trying to catch up the books on the shelves to what I’ve written. Logically, of course, that would mean I should stop writing for about a year and a half, but my brain doesn’t quite work that way.
I’m about two weeks shy of finishing DEMON HUNTS. My next book isn’t due until the end of October, which means for the first time since writing HOUSE OF CARDS in what, 2006, I won’t be behind the 8-ball. I’m going to take some time off (though, honestly and probably indicatively of my inability to turn it off, the word wars are going so fantastically well that “time off” might mean “I’ll write for a couple hours in the afternoon to maintain the wars and the cameraderie/community”, I don’t know yet) and I’m going to try hard to re-set that goal-meter in my mind to a slower pace, to less of that check!…where’s the next one? thing. T’ain’t natural to me to do that, and of course the reward of *seeing* that new book is a pretty compelling reason to keep charging forward, but yes. So close to done with the push, so I need to remember maintaining the breakneck pace is neither necessary nor desireable.
That was inevitably more indulgence than I intended. Ok, back on my head. *scoots to work*