I compose in Word (although I might be trying something new soon) and I keep the current book on my desktop in a single folder, with all the multiple drafts contained therein. Eventually, I move that folder off the desktop into my document file, where it’s no longer visible.
I did that today with LIFE SENTENCES. The new book, the work-in-progress, now has the desktop to itself. This annual ritual feels almost Oedipal, or at the very least a case of sibling rivalry. Time for you to shuffle off, LS, and take your place with the others. (For the record, only five novels, one novella and a folder full of short stories, as I had a major computer crash while writing To the Power of Three and didn’t transfer all the files. I do, however, own every computer I have ever owned, with the exception of one laptop. I even own the Mac Classic II on which I wrote my first three books.)
I felt a little sad, putting LIFE SENTENCES away. It is, I think, my favorite of my books to date. Certainly the most personal, a book where I clearly didn’t worry what anyone was going to think. But there is a new book in town and even as the tour continues — Los Angeles Thursday, San Mateo Saturday, Sydney all next week — it’s time to place it with the others.
Anyone else have work-related rituals that make them feel a little melancholy? Or, conversely, joyful? Household rituals? You know the drill.