I'm procrastinating beginning the ending of Jekyll, Hyde and Jack the Ripper book. While cruising around to some blogs, I came across a conversation between Dan Chaon and Jonathan Evison and procrastination came up. What? Is it possible that other writers procrastinate? Well, how about that.
After reading Evison's description of his brand of procrastination, I get that we have similar feelings. He said, "But it’s not laziness, I swear. It’s almost akin to fear–like once I’ve submerged, I’m kind of stuck down there in the story for awhile, and it can be painful, and frustrating, and exhausting, just as often as it can be exhilarating." Boy, do I know that feeling. It's the same way I feel about exercise or housework, although I consider those onerous tasks as opposed to writing, which is a good thing -- especially when I'm in The Zone.
It's hard taking those first steps or coming back to something that has been part of me for so long. I've finished with the last book and am fairly happy with the results, although there is a cliffhanger I need to resolve. I need to tell the rest of the story, what happens after Pearl gets out of jail, and how much of history I should add as opposed to tarting it all up with fiction. Neither prospect is all that easy to do. Turning life into fiction is not that easy. It's a balancing act, and we're back to procrastinating.
Thinking about a sequel to Among Women is procrastination, especially since I've had Whitechapel Hearts on the back burner for quite a while, not as long as Among Women, which was a journey spanning nearly thirty years, but long enough that it should be done. I know what happens. I know the characters inside and out and I know the facts and history of Jack the Ripper, but it's easier to contemplate a sequel to a book I still inhabit in some ways or turn to any of several other books I have in mind than it is to jump back into Whitechapel and Delilah Makepeace's story. Little bits of dialogue and interactions and background slip into my mind from time to time and I put them in the pot on the back burner to mellow and mingle. I have to stop that, especially since I already have the cover for Whitechapel. Michael Reighn, the artist for Among Women, did a beautiful job on turning my characters and story into what amounts to a concentrated dose of Whitechapel. I even have the synopsis I did a couple years ago to work through. That synopsis is the physical version of what's in my head, but I'd rather pore over more Ripper-ology or watch more movies and shows about Jack the Ripper and Victorian England than jump back into the book. It's become quite the obsession, but an obsession stalked from a distance. I have to stop that -- or maybe do some laundry and clean the house, both of which need doing. Instead, I'm here noddling over what I should be doing instead of just doing it. I always feel better afterwards and the sense of accomplishment is intoxicating, so why procrastinate?
For the same reason people go on adventures. Because they can.
I think I might have missed something in the conversation between Evison and Chaon. I should go check -- just one more time.