So I did it. I didn't think it was a possibility today, but I showed up and it came. I finished the first draft of my novel.
I don't know quite how I feel. I know I'm not done yet. I also know there will be many, many rewrites but I have accomplished a huge goal. I actually finished my book.
So why am I feeling so glum?
Actually I feel quite overwhelmed. It's like my brain is empty and I'm not sure how to fill it up again. It is the strangest feeling I have ever had.
I laid down on my bed and I could feel the adrenalin pulsing through my veins. I thought perhaps it was a surge in estrogen but I think it was all the energy stored in my body and no identifiable outlet.
And I'm a bit afraid. It would be so easy to stick my novel in a drawer and forget about it.
Sending out to be read and critiqued seems like walking up hill with a huge rock on my back.
I can't quite get to the place where I could actually imagine someone reading my words and enjoying them. That seems so far fetched.
It's lonely inside this head tonight. I have said good bye to the characters that have filled my dreams for so many restless nights. What will I dream tonight?
I began this blog claiming the need to begin the first day of the rest of my life. I feel as if I have begun a new journey, one that took a sudden turn tonight, a turn I was not prepared for.
So, my mind quickly filled with marketing schemes. I thought about illustrators and agents. I wondered if my manager could really sell my book. Do I need to find a literary agent? Endless questions and worries plagued me all night long. And I had dared to think that my brain was empty.
Reflecting on my last 24 hours I realize that part of what I experienced was a feeling of isolation. When I have finished big projects in the past, films that I've produced or even television shows that I've completed, I always have had people to celebrate with. It's not just the "BIG" wrap party but a colleague you can hug, or a collaborator who shares your concerns and your happiness at having completed a project.
Last night, in a house filled with my children and my husband, I felt all alone. I have always heard that the life of a writer was very lonely, but now I understand what that means. Of course my husband was excited I had completed my book and my kids gave me 'high fives.' But, inside I had nobody to really share the experience with because it was a task I set out to do on my own.
Today I went out and bought a new pair of jeans, a tee shirt and an amazing vest. I got myself out in the world and it felt good to part of something bigger than myself.
Balance is my new mantra.
How do you strike balance in your life? Do feel lonely or isolated writing? How should I celebrate the completion of my book?