It is September. I am doing the September write a poem a day challenge. I am doing it because since I went to Rugby to meet with my editor and we licked my collection into a final order I have not been writing much, and I miss it. I need to get back to it.
After the initial excitement of finalising when the book is coming out (May since you ask), and the tweaking of the poems - I went into a kind of limbo. I wasn't too worried, I recognise the pattern. At university we called it the post hand in slump. However much you think it won't happen, it does. I see my son go through it every time he comes back from being on tour with his band, and every time they finish an album. I have seen my friends go through it too once they have sent collections off to their publishers.
The second stage after finalising a collection (and I recognise this from last time too) is the oh my god what have I done phase. The phase where you become convinced that your book will upset and offend everyone on the planet. The phase where you start to doubt yourself and your choices - where it is tempting to fiddle and tweak - and mostly at this stage it is best to sit on your hands and not do that (beyond the odd comma) because the book has been accepted and edited after all. It's also best not to burn the manuscript, blow up the computer, or run screaming into the distance - all of which become hugely tempting at this point in the process. It's funny I had been thinking about this when I was walking into the city today and my friend Rose who is preparing for her first art show posted about it on Facebook. She described it as the urge to throw herself out of a window. Yes I get that - I really do. I am hoping writing a poem a day - even if it's just five minutes of writing (which mostly it is). I am on day 13 and so far I have written one thing I like - onwards and upwards.