GEOGRAPHIES OF THE HEART, Fomite Press, January 18, 2022). There isn’t another prose piece bubbling about the Macmillan family.
My characters have “moved out,” so to speak.
It’s weird not to be writing about Sarah, Glennie, and Al, but there is really nothing more to say, and in my mind, I see them walking down a path I cannot follow, out and away, their backs to me as they leave. I imagine them going. They don’t look back.
I watch them go, though. All the way to the end of the path.
I am in the middle of empty next syndrome. I feel a little lonely but also am relishing parts of this—the extra free time, the knowing that I did my best for my characters, the chance for a quieter mind because I’m not springing up to scribble down a note or check a timeline.
What’s next? I have a strong draft of a middle grade novel filed away, and I would love to edit it again and find it a home.
I have a professionally edited picture book, ready to submit.
But nothing new. I hear no voice coming through in a line, which is where stories always start for me.
Here’s the thing about empty next syndrome: overall, I am okay with it. Goodbyes are hard. Change is hard. But I feel peaceful in this new, fallow period of my writing life. I’m putting my feet up, tilting my face back to catch the sun. I am okay with the silence.
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