Wednesday 8 December 2010

I'm done - what now?

I've delivered the MS for Dead End to my publisher and am back to polishing my next MS, which is virtually finished.
On paper (sorry!) I've achieved a heck of a lot in 2010 with Cut Short shortlisted for a major award, Road Closed well reviewed and selling as fast as Cut Short, and not one but two more books written.
So as the year draws to a close, I should be feeling pretty pleased with myself.
But (one of the most powerful words in the English language. Like an inconspicuous pivot, almost invisible, it turns everything around) I'm feeling deflated, low, dejected, fed up. (Love blogging where I can repeat, reiterate, witter on in horrendous prose, unlike my 'professional' prose or, as Katie Price allegedly calls it my "book words").
How do other writers react when they reach the end of the monumental (sometimes monstrous) creative effort that goes into writing a book?
Do you party? crawl away and hide? or indulge in rambling on a blog?
This isn't only a question for writers, of course. It applies equally at the conclusion of any task that has required effort. How do we enjoy achievement when the work is done? or do we only feel alive when we're facing challenge? What about the challenge of coping when the challenge is over? (OK, I'll stop now.)


Jilly said...

I think it's a feeling of anti-climax - you've worked hard, done what you wanted and now the pressure's off for the moment. I felt the same when I first retired - it was what I'd wanted and hoped for and once I'd got it there was a feeling of - so what? Human beings need some pressure to keep them going I think.

Leigh Russell said...

Yes, I've been so busy lately, it's been exhausting but fun! Oh well, time to move on. Next book to work on. I can understand what you mean about retiring, Jilly. I'm sure you're keeping yourself busier than ever.

Pat said...

I agree with Jilly but perhaps take a little time to be self indulgent for a change; get up late, slop around, eat some chocolate and go and see a good play or film.

Leigh Russell said...

Sounds good, Pat. In the meantime, I seem to be busier than ever. But the end is in sight!

Pauline Rowson said...

Hi Leigh,

I posted a blog entry on this on my website taken from the Guardian. Simon Brett discusses writers depression. You might identify with it. Glad to hear you've had a productive and busy year. Congratulations on your success and best wishes for 2011. Perhaps we'll meet up at an event or at a CWA event in 2011.

Leigh Russell said...

Would be lovely to see you, Pauline. In the meantime, just keep writing. That's the best way to avoid feeling low after finishing a book. Never end one book without the idea for the next beating a drum in your head!

Yanira Alfonso, Ed.S., Literacy Coach said...


I am new to blogging. I am interested in writing a book. How has blogging helped you on your author journey?


Leigh Russell said...

Hi Yani - blogging has helped because I've met a lot of interesting and helpful other bloggers. Good luck with your writing.