Finishing a Book: Complex Endings and Beginnings

I have friends who throw parties when their manuscript is finished. One even rented a hall, catered it, and signed books for the occasion. Others unceremoniously set it aside and start the next one. And others who throw up their hands in exasperation and declare they are sick of the whole thing, refusing to look at it again.

I have elements of each of those extreme reactions, with a healthy dose of relief that comes completing a big project that is personally significant, and a little bit of grief that it’s over. Not that I ever finish a manuscript. Rather, I am more likely to have it taken from me before I “edit all the life out of it”. Even after it has been sent off to the editor, I am likely to keep rewriting it in my mind.My best luck at letting go seems to be when I can bury myself in a new project. I keep a notebook of ideas and rely on a gem inside to intrigue me enough to pull me away.

There is so much that has to happen to successfully launch a book I am not sure how anyone finds the time to celebrate at all. And because for me, writing is something I’m driven to do, have no choice but to do, I forget what a monumental accomplishment completing a novel truly is. Going forward, I plan to honor my achievement by buying myself something nice. Some possibilities?

  • A Barnes and Noble shopping Spree
  • An Amazon gift card
  • A new tote bag
  • A fancy pen
  • A fancy journal
  • Chocolate

Hmm. Now that I look at these all in a row like that, it seems what I want for finishing a book includes only books and writing related things. Which bring me right back to writing. Oh, well.

Yes. Chocolate is involved. Chocolate is always involved. #don’tjudgeme

5 Comments on “Finishing a Book: Complex Endings and Beginnings”

  1. would never judge chocolate. And a shopping spree isn’t necessarily a bad thing. even if it’s books. Because when you read other’s work, it’s refilling the well.

  2. Of course chocolate is a writing accessory. Besides, it’s rich in several minerals essential to the parts of the brain that deal with plot development.
    Sending for some tomorrow.

  3. Well I took a different view of this topic. I looked at it as completion of the first draft not so much once it’s out in the world. But yes, even after completing it, and putting it out in the world there is much to be done. You do need to take time and just enjoy your accomplishment and a treat is always nice. I told my husband I want a spa day for each book I publish. He bought me a gift certificate when I put out my latest. Now I need to pull my head out of current projects and go.

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