I hate to admit it, but I get this way every time I finish a book.
It happened in 1999 when the edits and rewrites were done for The Secrets of Afro-Cuban Divination. It happened again in 2001 when the edits and rewrites were done for Obi: Oracle of Cuban Santería. Again, in 2002 after finishing the editing work for The Diloggún I was depressed. Now that Teachings of the Santería Gods is off in the hands of the line editor after an extensive round of rewriting, I’ve hit the wall again. I feel so sad and depressed that it’s not funny. It’s almost frightening.
This time, it’s really bad.
Since 2002, I’ve worked on this book. Well, not exactly this book, but I’ve gone through the 256 odu one-by-one and organized my material; and then, I spent years writing rough drafts for the short stories I wanted to publish. When Inner Traditions decided they wanted only one book of short stories, I focused on the parent odu and polished 12 chapters of short stories I felt best illustrated the ashé of each family.
I lived, ate, and breathed this book. It was my constant companion. I’ve gone through three net books as I carried the manuscript and my notes everywhere I went. Now that it’s all over and it’s just a waiting game for the publication date (I get to see final galleys before it goes to the printer), I feel like I’ve lost my focus in life. Truly.
I know . . . I know . . . Knickerbocker Circus wants abbreviated versions of the other sixteen volumes . . . I’m planning a few collections of short stories about the orishas, and their various avatars, and I have a rough draft for a novel that I will dig into again next year. But it’s like a part of me is gone now, and I’m mourning that.
I think I just found the word I was looking for – mourning. The book is no longer mine. It belongs to everyone. Something that was precious to me, something that gave me purpose, has gone out of my hands. I’m mourning that loss.
One would think that I’d be happy. But I’m not. I’m sad.
Does anyone else go through this with their own work?