I've been light on the posts this last month but for good reason. I just mailed in final edits for my second novel, The Forgetting Tree. I have the usual mixed feelings of exhaustion (I can't look at any more copyedits!), exhilaration (it's done!), and post-partum (I don't have anything to do today, after working seven days a week for months!). I remember being at this exact emotional place after my first book, but a little experience is helpful is knowing how to get past it more quickly. The best advice I've received since publishing The Lotus Eaters? Keep writing. If things are going well, keep writing. If they are going badly, keep writing.
It seems too obvious, but with all the pressures of promoting a book, it is easy to forget. My first reading two years ago, an audience member asked, "What are you working on next?" I was so focussed on the book at hand that I'd struggled years to publish, it seemed a premature question. But since then, the people I most respect all echo that question. A writer is not a single book, but a body of work. So if I am at your reading, I'll raise my hand and ask the dreaded question. Please do me the same favor.