You finally finish that first 'Great American' novel, your passion for years, what will you do next?
I imagined crowds going wild, running to cheers giving high fives maybe a party in my honor. Instead it was a week of mourning and depression. I am hoping that talking and sharing about that emotional time period will help others...and myself.
It's incredible how much of ourselves we put into those works of art, our writing projects... I think I can understand that depression. after the work is done. Though I have not yet finished my novel, I have deliberating so long and hard over certain characters in the work, that I can imagine that wrapping up their story is painful. Also, I've read many, many novels with my writer's hat on. When I probe the narrative for the author's soul; it's always right there. No matter how removed the narrative might be from the author's own life and circumstances, there's always some part of the author left there, in between the lines of narrative. Yes, writing is such a personal investment...
I still remember that feeling when I typed the last period at the end of my first novel-length story. It was nearly midnight, my husband was traveling, my kids were asleep, and my friends' husbands would have hated me if I tried to call them to celebrate. I did this funny little dance thing in my chair, quietly whooping to myself (so as to not wake the babes), and then put my head down on the desk and cried. I'd never felt more alone, abandoned even by the characters I'd just spent nine months with. Quite a let down.
Finishing my second (the first has been tucked away for now) felt much better. There was no one around again (problem with writing late at night), but this time I knew it'd be okay because I'd soon be joined by new friends on new adventures as long as I kept writing.
I have set aside my first novel almost three years now and I'm quite ready to start the revision process. Mine is going to be pretty much a complete overhaul of the entire story. The central plot will remain the same; however, instead of being an adult novel I will be converting it into a young adult novel. Whew!