There isn’t much talk about the gloom that hits when your book has finally packed up and left home for good.

Partly that’s because of the initial relief.

WOO-WOO!!! Good riddance! I did it! I’m free!!!

But soon, you start feeling a bit lonely. You phone up your book. You sound pathetic.

It’s just me.

Do you need any money?

Do you want to come to dinner on Sunday?

Miss you….love you….wear a sweater….

Eventually you pull yourself together. I’m fine, you tell yourself. And even better, I’m free! I’ll go to galleries, to films, out to lunch. I’ll see all those friends I’ve neglected for two years now. I’ll clear my desk, go through my closets, answer that fan letter. Write short stories. Sew on buttons. Learn to knit.

Only, you don’t. You stare into space, convinced you’ll never write another book. You spend all day on facebook. Dinner time comes and goes. You check your e-mails, your bank balance. You doze.

Weeks pass.

Yesterday, I took the dogs to the Heath and we encountered a pretty little Bedlington terrier. She came bounding over, I patted her, and caught a glimpse of the name on her tag. Mila.

I decided about two months ago that the main character in my next book will be called Mila. Which made this seem like a sign. Not much of a sign, but a sign nonetheless.

So I came home from the Heath, fed the dogs, checked my e-mails and started a new book. I have only the vaguest idea what it’s about. But today I’m not as cranky as I was.


15 thoughts on “Empty Nest Blues

  1. Nicky S/Absolute Vanilla 8 years ago

    Yep, it’s the best way to deal with post-natal book depression – start a new one! Good luck with it and have fun!

  2. Claire 8 years ago

    New book! And another finished. Hurray! (Sounds like there could be a short story in the calling-up-your-book thing…) 🙂

  3. Lauren McLaughlin 8 years ago

    Hi there. We met at opening night at Giselle. Congratulations on finishing your book. I can’t wait to read it. I just finished my third in December but felt no empty nest blues this time around. In fact, I was glad to see that impertinent little you-know-what go.

    Love your cover proof. I’ve been back-and-forthing with Random House on mine and have decided that my opinion just doesn’t matter. If it were up to me, it would just have words on it.


    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Ah! Lovely to hear from you, Lauren. Am off to look at your website now. And don’t think the rest of us haven’t lost ten or twenty cover battles. It’s part of the skin-thickening process of being a writer, I think. xxxmeg

  4. Sharon Creech 8 years ago

    Meg–Just found your blog; very happy to be here!

  5. Sharon Creech 8 years ago

    P. S. Well. So. Identify with your post, having just sent off a ms. but before final revisions. Trying not to bother that ms. Decide to read. I loved How I Live Now, so I picked up What I Was. Discover I’m a couple years late on this one. Discover that my ‘unusual’ character’s name in just-sent-off-ms. has same name as one of yours. Discover that my ‘unusual’ plot element in just-sent-off-ms. slightly resembles yours. Alas. Taking an aspirin.
    xx SC

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Never mind, Sharon. I think it’s called synchronicity or something. We can’t even call it ‘homage’, as you hadn’t read beforehand. I forgive you wholeheartedly, unless your version becomes a massive bestseller and makes you fabulously wealthy. Then we’ll talk.
      Lovely to hear from you.

    2. Meg 8 years ago

      p.s. Am quite desperate to read The Unfinished Angel, which I hear (from one of my favourite bloggers) is magic. Will do so ASAP.

    3. Lesley Martin 8 years ago

      So excited to hear you’ve started your next book Meg. I love writer’s blogs because other writers respond – Sharon Creech! Wow! Unfinished Angel is wonderful, delightful, clever, go and read it immediately.

  6. Kirsten Baron 8 years ago

    It’s always good news to hear that you’re writing another one!

  7. Ray P Hewitt 8 years ago

    My fingers ache from typing… I blame you Meg 😉

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Excellent, Ray. Suffering for art. That’s how it should be.

  8. Sharon Creech 8 years ago

    Just finished WHAT I WAS–love that book! Kept me riveted and engaged, such beautiful prose. And it pivots differently than my ms-in-progress does, so that’s a relief. ho!

    1. Meg 8 years ago

      Phew. x

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