Forty five years ago, in spite of shaking in my shy shoes beneath the bright lights shining on my high school stage, I enjoyed donning different identities and acting out bit parts in theater productions. But on the first morning after the last curtain call, the post-production blues invariably set in. The magic vanished, daily routines reappeared, and mundane days stretched endlessly before me.

Forty five years later, after launching my memoir Angel Hero in April of this year, those lowdown blues attacked me again. The book grew and changed inside my mind for 29 years. I wrote it and rewrote it and revised and obsessed over every word, and then bore down hard to birth it.

Maybe obsession’s not a bad thing. If I hadn’t been driven to fulfill my promise to Vic’s spirit, to get his story in print or die trying, I probably wouldn’t have finished my book. I might have allowed naysayers who read the early versions convince me it was worthless.

Writing Angel Hero fulfilled my need to create a compelling read and to honor Vic’s memory. Just thinking about it adrenalized me. For the first four weeks after the paperback and e-book appeared on Amazon, I felt relieved and thrilled about its birth. Liz, the proud mama. But the blues rolled in on the wings of June, grabbed hold of me, and shook me hard.

Well, it’s taking me awhile, but I’m shaking them off. I’m happy as a clam when I’m writing something I deeply care about and learning how to write better just by showing up at the page. When I watch the story play out like a movie in my mind, touch-type what I see quickly, reread my writing the next day, edit and edit some more, I’m immersed in the world I’m writing about. Revising’s both a chore and a delight as I watch my words become more concise, active, and descriptive.

Launching my book, trying to create a buzz about it, learning about social media, dealing with computer hassles has created a learning curve I’m still screeching after. I love that I’m a member of a virtual new world now, one nobody can take away from me. That I can share my posts with everyone makes it worth the hassle to learn how to use the media. How nice is that? My favorite part of social media is still blogging, because blogging allows me to keep writing, and editing, and rewriting until I make my post the best it can be. Kind of like a book, but a whole heck of a lot shorter.

If I do decide on a new topic for a book, I can promise you this: the gestation period won’t be 29 years this time.

How do you other writers out there deal with post-partum book blues?

Lizbeth Hartz is the author of the true crime, true love memoir Angel Hero, Murder in Hawaii, A True Story, which this blog post is partly based on. Buy it on Amazon or sign up to read the 1st chapter free.


  1. Alice Folkart on June 26, 2014 at 7:58 pm

    Seems right to me that you might feel a bit adrift without this enormously intense and demanding project always hovering in the background. It’s not like birthing a child, though. When the child has finally left your body, you face years of caring for it, protecting it, teaching it, shaping it. When a book is written and launched, your only further involvement is in promoting it, or possibly preparing it for a ‘second’ edition. Neither of those options sounds very fulfilling unless you like the PR and/or editing processes.

    You’re perfectly entitled to feel as though the wind is blowing through your soul because it is! So you’d better start on another book. We and you know that you can write. We and you know that you can birth a book. We know that you can write a good love story, a good psychological thriller, and good spiritual love thriller. So, get back up on that writingcycle (like a bicycle, only requiring better balance), and wobble off. You’ll soon be tracking straight and going far.

    I’m making time in my summer schedule to re-read Angel Hero, and only wish that I’d known Vic and had been able to poison Jaku before he did any harm. What a fine villain you’ve made.

    Good luck with developing another project.

    Alice Folkart

  2. Lizbeth Hartz on July 5, 2014 at 2:13 pm

    Thanks for this delightful and supportive post, Alice! Good points about the differences between birthing books and babies:) I hear you, I agree, and I am starting to wobble along on my writingcycle, taking baby rides toward my next book. How very sweet of you, to re-read Angel Hero. Please send me links to some of your works, so that I may read yours as well,

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