As Monk often says: “Here’s the thing…”
One of the quirkly little personality traits that so endears me to my wife is that I can be extremely stressed-out or depressed without knowing it. I get sullen, crabby, pessimistic, and withdrawn for anywhere from two weeks to a month, eating badly and staying up too late, then it suddenly dawns on me that hey, maybe I’m depressed.
“Denial,” she calls it.
Anyway, this is an actual conversation I had at work today.
Co-worker: Your book comes out this month, right?
Me: Yep. Just under three weeks from now.
Co-worker: Omigod! Are you excited?
Which… yeah. Denial. I’m not jumping around or drumming my fingers on my knees, but I am vaguely naseous and stressed out. I have been kicking my own ass for my lack of productivity lately (Man Bites World has been impossible to write–it’s like rolling a giant ball of sloppy wet clay uphill.) but hey, maybe that’s because I’m nervous? Maybe because I’ve been writing since I was very, very small and now, 35+ years later I’m about to finally be put to the test?
And that if I fuck this up I’ll have to start over again?
It’s a lot easier to deal with my stress when I recognize that it’s there. At least, I hope it will be.