The book’s finished so why am I sad?

I finished Love in the Morning Calm, the prequel to The Pendant’s Promise and turned the manuscript over to the editor. 

MorningCalm_6 for webpgs

Now I’m sad.

I know I should be happy. IT’S FINISHED.

There is a sense of relief and exhaustion considering the amount of energy and focus required to “birth” this particular novel. I’ve been working on Lily and Alex’s love story for years.

My very wise book editor suggested I split the original manuscript into two books, which added a year to the writing process, but keeping the tale as one book would have made James A. Michener’s multi-generational works look like short stories.

Really, I am excited that I’m finished.

Except for this lonely feeling that keeps creeping in–sort of like postpartum blues.

Sigh.

I found comfort in knowing I had Lily and Alex’s romance to resume every morning and think about at night.

I already miss the arguments trying to persuade them to follow my outline. Then sometimes settling for something close to what I planned, but perhaps better and more interesting.

Other authors have shared that they experience the same sluggishness, a lack of motivation, and energy when they finish a book. I know my feelings will subside. Lily and Alex have, after all, found their happily ever after.

It’s time to do the next thing — start a new manuscript. I began that process this weekend.

I’m looking at two quotes as the new story’s theme. One fromTruth About Forever a Sarah Dessen novel: “There is never a time or place for true love. It happens accidentally, in a heartbeat, in a single flashing, throbbing moment.”

 The other from Lao Tzu: “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.”

Once my new friends, Darcy and Andrew, and I have done that dance of the first 50 or 60 pages they’ll begin to talk to me then my real work will begin.

I can truly bid Lily and Ace farewell.

YOUR TURN:  Do you get the postpartum blues when you finish a book? What do you do about it when you do?

17 Comments on “The book’s finished so why am I sad?

  1. I’m surprised to find myself absolutely devastated. I can barely function now that suddenly, for the first time in over a year, I don’t have my characters to turn to. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me… I’ve only finished the first draft. But I’m actually afraid now to start working on the second…

    But I must say, congratulations on finishing your book! I hope it does well 🙂

  2. I am currently working on a three book series and I hadn’t thought about being completely finished….until now. I am half way through the second book and I have to be honest I’m going to miss all my characters. I think I may start a new stroy idea to get to right away so I wont dwell too much on being done. This is a the only depressing part about writing I have found so far lol.

    • Kristy, congratulations the series. That’s a huge undertaking. I hear what you’re saying about not dwelling on missing the old characters so much. I’m counting on my new characters filling my head as much as Alex and Lily did.

  3. What?!! Finish a book? I never finish. I revise until I’m so sick of the #$@!% thing, I shove it out the door.
    BTW, congratulations. Now, shove it out the door like a difficult teenager leaving for college.

  4. I love this post. Postpartum blues is normal considering how long we spend giving birth to our characters. Sometimes we’re sick of them by the time we finish and sometimes we find ourselves stuck in that moment of, “Our kids have finally left the roost.” Perhaps this is a form of empty nest syndrome? I wish you all the best of success Judy! And once your mind is totally immersed in your new characters, you won’t miss the others as much. 🙂

    • That’s what I’m counting on – Darcy and Andrew filling my head with their story. Thanks for stopping by the porch, Karen. Come again.

  5. Congrats on finishing your novel! I don’t have any stories to share on completing a novel because, well, I haven’t done that yet. Soon. Very soon. And when I do, I’m certain I’ll have feelings of sadness like you described.

    Love the Lao Tzu quote. What a great one to spin a story around. It rings true for me in so many ways. I can already tell I’m going to be thinking about that one off and on all day.

    • I like that Tzu quote too. Not sure it works for Darcy and Andrew, but I’m sure they will tell me. Thanks for stopping by and keep writing you’ll get to THE END.

  6. There is definitely an “end of a relationship” feel. I always fall a little bit in love with my hero, so when the books is done, I’m sad. Fortunately I don’t deal with the feelings of rejection and ruined self-image that a real break-up brings 🙂 but it’s still a process of letting go.

  7. Congrats on “The End”! Even though I know what you are talking about, I have to say that there’s a part of me that feels, “good riddance … I was sick of you people.” Hahaha And I mean that in the most loving way, sort of like a parent you says to a child, I’ve done all I can do with you, time to fly on your own. 😉

    Can’t wait to hear about the new story. Great quotes!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *