The end of the writing of the novel certainly did not calm me down, quite the opposite. The feeling of accomplishment quickly turned to stage fright and impatience, not to mention the doubt and inevitable bubbling of comparisons and jealousy.
All you have to do is prowl around Éditions du Boréal, Éditions Alto, Héliotrope, to name only three of the good publishers; all you have to do is fear that they will refuse my manuscript so that pride, once again, will take a hit. All you have to do is read the praise reviews on this or that author, compare them to my writings…
Someone told me two days ago, when I told him I had finished my novel: “What, it ends, a novel?”. I found the bravado as insensitive as it could be, and it went straight to the heart. Of course, a text will never be completed, it can be rewritten over and over again. However, we have to put the final touches to it, move on to something else. And this act triggers the other machines, the one of the desire to be heard, the one also invented by the king’s madman who already mocks all our claims.
Pride is strong. Yet when I was revising my novel, nothing could resist my judgment. Entire chapters have been passed under the ax. Now that I have to let the eyes and minds of others split the skin of my sensitive nonsense, I become paternal, motherly suffocating.
I am not a literary person in the sense that I do not attend trade fairs or bookstores. My mind is elsewhere, and my body is fighting, getting drunk on the great honey of people, my heart is beating all over the place. It is therefore likely that the criticism will be severe.
At this point, I can be told to stop complaining, and we’ll be right. It’s that I’m not complaining. I’m just nervously counting time.