I've been binge watching The Crown, season two, ever since sending in the last of my three big work assignments this past Monday. The Netflix series follows Britain's monarchy starting with the childhood of the future queen, Elizabeth II. I gather that it will keep going right up to the present day. The second season is utterly absorbing, even better than season one, and I stop every few minutes to google the real history of people and events, going down one rabbit hole after another. All those romantic stories of a king giving up the throne for love that my mother told me when I was growing up are scarcely the case. The truth is much darker.
I'm not being entirely escapist. Every day I send out two or three emails connected to getting more work, and I am trying to trust that something on the way. The editor at the publishing house seems very happy with the book so far, she's halfway through, and she emailed me to say she has me in mind for another project and that when she finds people she likes working with they can't get rid of her. I told her that her email made me very happy and that I had no desire to get rid of her.
Of course, the timing of these things can be very drawn out. The book I just completed took about six months to come fully online, then two months to write the proposal, then another month to sell it, then six months to interview the subject to get her story and write the actual book, then a month for the subject to read and make changes while a fact checker also did her thing, all before the manuscript was in final form. Now that it has been submitted to the editor there will be copyediting rounds, which means it will probably take another few months before my "on acceptance" payment arrives. So you see, I don't have the luxury of focusing on just one project at a time. From beginning to end, a book is easily more than a year of my life.
All that to say I am back in the space of needing to trust in the future. In the meantime, I am trying to bask in the present moment, and maybe make myself a project for a while, which means going to the gym a bit more, and going to the movies a bit more, and maybe learning to play bridge, and just basically doing things just for the enjoyment of them. In the midst of my intense three-deadline month, someone said, "That's a lot of stress. So what do you do for you?" I was flummoxed. I didn't know how to answer. It's why I love working. It distracts me from needing to find answers to such questions.