Finally finishing a book is like digging into a Ghirardelli Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt bar, right?
Okay, some people might substitute champagne here, but I don’t drink, so I reach for my favorite chocolate, but that’s not really the point. The point is… IT’S NOT LIKE THAT AT ALL!
Now, every writer is different, but for me, after that ten minutes of celebration that I FINALLY finished the book that had been killing me, screaming at me, begging me to finish… that’s when the total emotional letdown hits.
What am I talking about?
When you are writing a book, you become so emotionally invested in the characters that they become your family. You worry about them when you’re not writing. It might be worry that they’ll survive whatever harrowing situation you just shoved them into — because seriously, sometimes the author doesn’t even know know! — or if they’re going to cause trouble while you’re gone — because, again, that happens ALL THE TIME!! (cough, cough…Oscar)
You also miss talking to them when you walk away from the computer, because sometimes your characters are the only ones who really seem to understand you. They’re part of you, they know what’s rumbling around inside your head, and it’s kinda comforting to know your story is as real to them as it is to you. Not that that really makes sense because they’re all fake, but, well… you know what I mean, right?
You’ve spent months, maybe even years, living in your characters world, building their lives bit by bit, and trying to guide them to their ultimate salvation… or death… you know, depending on which character we’re talking about 😉 You have spent a good deal of waking and sleeping hours devoted to their existence.
And then… suddenly it’s all over.
What do you do with all your free time after typing THE END? Who do you worry about when all the member of your real life family and friends are all safely tucked away in their day to day lives? Who do you try to guide, or help figure out how to escape a near death experience, or piece back together when everything comes crushing down around their ankles? You are left with an emotional vacuum that makes you sit on your couch thinking, “Should I open the book back up, or should I get my daily dose of Sam and Dean?”
Sam and Dean certainly are tempting, but letting go of the book you just closed the pages on isn’t that easy. Even when you know it’s now in the hands of your trusted beta readers who are going to tell you everything that needs fixed or that you totally forgot to follow up on, opening it back up and taking a peek at it, just for a minute, is SO hard to resist.
You could move on to a new book, but that feels like some kind of twisted cheating, like your characters are watching you, thinking, “Wait, what about us? You know you’re not done yet!” You feel a little lost, to be perfectly honest. At least I do. BUT, I know starting in on editing (which I hate) is silly until I hear back from my betas.
So, what am I doing to patch up the emotional let down I feel every time I finish a book?
Watching a little Supernatural, of course. Sam and Dean can pretty much fix anything. Ghost and demons need not be present for effectiveness 😉
And in a few days, I will start on book 4, because I am mean and I left book 3 totally hanging off the edge of a cliff 😉
What do you turn to when you need an emotional boost?