Two and half years (approximately) in the creating, I finished writing my first novel yesterday. From the beginning of the project, the expectation I carried for my reaction to that moment was extreme satisfaction, even elation.
Instead, it was almost the opposite. When I hit save before closing the file on my computer, a weight of sadness settled in my core. Oh, I was not deceived into thinking the work was complete. Proofreading, editing, rearranging, and queries all critical to the big picture process, are outstanding. Yet somehow, I believed that pulling together that last chapter would give me a sense of fulfilment, if not completion.
Wanting to share my accomplishment with the world, I reached out on Facebook and posted the following:
XXXII Chapters done. And done. I know I have lots of editing to do, but not right now. I’m just empty.
And that’s just it. I felt empty.
An indescribable sense of loss dogged me throughout the evening and into my sleep last night. As I awoke today, thoughts of rearranging the last two chapters, perhaps splitting them into four, were at the front of my brain and I spent most of the morning in a state of agitation, prepared to dive in and make my book complete in one intense binge at the computer.
My partner has a cooler head and more logical thought process than me. The distraction in my brain became less insistent as together, Grant and I navigated our Saturday morning within a somewhat normal structure: coffee, Globe and Mail, game of Cribbage, and a hearty breakfast.
But still, my brain remained muddled. Finally, a hot shower rinsed away some confusion, and my thoughts fell into place. A wallowing, self-absorbed, blog post, of course. What better way to disgorge the garbage clogging my creative process?
A simple, three hundred and thirty-three word vent, and I feel renewed enough to celebrate my accomplishment and enjoy a writing free weekend.
Monday morning, let the maintenance begin.