Sunday, December 7, 2014

Now what?

Now What?

by Hilde Garcia


I hate deadlines.

The panic that ensues when I know one is fast approaching.  How I start to stress because of all the stuff in my way, mostly the laundry.

And yet, I seem to meet them all, even the late Sunday night scramble to post.

I have no excuses now.  The house is quiet.  Everyone’s asleep, even the dog.  The laundry is done.  My desk is cleared.  No dishes in the sink.  Today, I spent the whole day avoiding this post, so the garage and office are spotless of clutter, as a result, and I finally put away the Halloween decorations.

Talk about a now what!  I should be jumping at the chance to post, to write, perchance to say something of substance, but sadly, I am more blocked than if I had put 8 loads of laundry in my way intentionally.

And why is that?  I will tell you.  Because I finished my novel.  I revised it several times.  I locked myself in a hotel room for 4 days to get through the edits and the polish and then I sent it off and I met my self-imposed deadline.  

And then I found myself asking myself, “Now what, lady?  You are out of excuses.”

Yep, I am.  I did what I said I was going to do and then I hit a slump.  The waiting place.

Sigh.  The clutter in my mind doesn’t go away.  It only makes me crazy because I can’t seem to find any type of organizational system from The Container Store to make it neat and tidy, like my novel ended up being when I finished it.

I know I should be writing something else.  I do have some ideas of what that topic could be, but none of them have grabbed me like my first novel, my first love.  My biggest fear is that I am a one hit wonder.  I will be a hit, no question, my novel is good, but is that all I have?  What is next for me? How do I even start anew?

Beats me, if I know.

 Is it because this story hasn’t flown the coop yet and I am waiting for some type of validation that may never come?  Or if it comes, what does that mean to me?  Do I revise more and focus on that book before I can move on to a new one?

All my author pals tell me they understand and feel the same, but they have tons of ideas in the works, several published books out, and are always writing.  I can't see that being my reality.

I teach.  I manage the household.  I drive kids to cheer and football, but I do write a lot in my head… while I drive… don’t worry, I watch the road.

So let’s start a conversation.  I am pretty sure I have some soul mates out there who understand the panic.  

What DO we do when we finish a novel and have to move on?  How do we do it?  How do you get the hook that gets you going?  How do you conquer the pre-published blues?

To quote Frasier Crane, “I’m listening…”

And check out some sites/ blogs I read tonight to help me figure out what to do.  Seems that I have many kindred spirits.  But now I must go because I have a cupcake waiting for me.  (#10 of 10 Ways to Stay Sane.)


  1. Whenever I bite my keyboard, I brush and floss afterward.
    Dental Diego

  2. Wallow in the idea that you are finished and free, then new Ideas will flow. Stress kills the creativity.

  3. Breathe. Smile Sing. Then try a) unstressful writing. Use prompts, like The thing I remember from gradeschool . . . Or Rain always reminds me . . .
    Maybe birth a character. You won't know his or her story yet, but you'll find out when you get acquainted.

    Meanwhile, catch up on some reading; like a lot of us, I'm sure you have a pile of waiting books.

    Before you know it, you'll be back to squeezing out those writing moments instead of cleaning the garage.

    All is normal, Hilde.

    1. Couldn't agree more! Also, I love your photos!!

  4. Been there. Hilde, One more blog post for you from KidsBook Mavens sort of on the same subject. Please check it out.

  5. Hilde, Susan Hornbach has it right. Let go.

    There is only Now. The past is history, the future is a mystery. I give you a PRESENT. Be in it.

    You don't need to write. You don't have to write. If it comes, fine. If it doesn't come, fine.

    But all things are change. So, just be.

    Try this out, and I'll guarantee that you'll have peace in your heart, whatever happens. And creativity flows when you are relaxed.


  6. I always have idea percolating, but sometimes it's hard to find the time to sit and write and to truly believe that a story is done. And maybe it's just easier to comment on what others are doing. It's good to have a sense of "completeness" when one project is finished and sent off That feels good. But you have to keep going, even if it's small steps like commenting, making lists, or brainstorming. Congrats on finishing! Penny (


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