You know how at the end of a really good book you sometimes feel like you’ve just lost a best friend? Now imagine that times a hundred.
It’s an odd thing, to be able to cope as a writer you need to be able to handle long nights, dwindling days, extreme highs, and more extreme lows. Getting through from the spark of an idea to the realisation of the concept is a journey, often a long and grueling journey.
Completing the novel isn’t enough, oh no, that’s the easy part. There’s the editing, and the editing, and oh, did I mention editing? You go round, and round, and round again, until the words blur, and your reality becomes the pictures in your mind. You find yourself talking to the characters, asking them if they’re supposed to have that piece of information yet or not. You can inhale the scent of their homes, feel their breath on your neck, and hear the tone of their whispering voices. Round again, edit some more, round and round.
There comes a point where you’ll do anything, literally anything, to never have to read another word of this novel ever again. You can’t do it. You can’t cope. You can’t go back to chapter one again, ‘No, please! You can’t make me!’
Then something happens.
Glancing to the bottom left you realise, forty pages left, thirty, twenty… you have to stop. You sit back and you realise, this is it. You’re nearly there. This is the last round, and yes, there’s light at the end of the tunnel.
The euphoria merges with the pride, and clarity crescendos, the end is nigh!
Then it hits you. These characters you’ve talked to. These halls you’ve walked in, and fears you’ve lived for days, weeks, months, years… it’s all going to be over soon. The hard slog that has sapped every last morsel of your strength every day, is over.
The juggernaut never stops. We have to move on. But from those long nights and dwindling days you’ve created something, you’ve finished something, and tomorrow when you wake up… they’re gone.
The characters who have presided over your life for all of this time, they no longer need you. It’s finished. You’re done. That’s it.