Anybody feel a bit of shock and disorientation upon completion of a draft? As if you’d just emerged from some kind of cave – or more accurately, an alternate universe? And you wonder what’s been going on while you were away …
Well, in my case:
Weeds large enough to eat me grew up in front of our neighborhood sign – which is on our property and which I am responsible for tending. Ooops.
Laundry may have piled up. A bit.
The neighbor asks why my husband has a rental car instead of his truck, and I say, “Um … I’m not sure.”
The downstairs patio area was cleaned up and redecorated without any help from me. (Now, that was a nice surprise, but I do feel a little guilty.)
But I think the strangest thing is this sense of loss. I know most people celebrate completion of a draft, whether it’s the first or the seventh. I always feel as if I just lost my best friends. It’s not as if I don’t have anything else to do (like pay attention to my house and my family), but after the thrill of rampaging through the climax and having it all work out as I (sort of) planned, typing THE END is a bit of a let-down. Anybody else experience this?
Yes, I know what you mean. I felt like that’s it. I really didn’t know what to do with myself. I had the sense of loss. I have piles all over my house too. I guess I need to tend to that stuff. 🙂
I do mourn the loss of that passionate involvement in the world, and I often look forward to diving back in with revisions. I use writing to cope with everything, so if I’m not deeply involved, I’m a bit bereft. So yes, I think I know what you’re talking about!
that’s another reason I always draw it out as long as I can. I just finished another scene today but still have two more to go and Im not sure if I want to write them today or not because then the magic of creation that comes with a first draft is done;( There’s nothing like it!
It’s amazing what goes on in the world, including really nearby, while the draft of a story has center stage.
Yes! Just experienced it recently too. Though mine wasn’t really a first draft. The entire book had been written and edited about five times, MINUS the ending. I finally got the courage to write the ending and now bam. Tears.
Absolutely. When I’m deep into writing (or any other project) I have such an intense case of tunnel vision, when I re-emerge into the world again, it’s like I’m coming out of a black cave into the sunshine. Totally disoriented.
I think I mostly feel relief. Like the hardest part is done and the rest is easy. Not that revisions are necessarily easy but actually finishing a novel, tying up all those loose ends into a satisfying package is quite a feat.
I felt the same way. It was the moment when I had to come back to reality and remind myself that the characters weren’t real people and I didn’t live in their world. It is a sad moment and a happy accomplishment all in the same.