I’ve always had a bittersweet reaction to finishing something. On the one hand, I am proud of completing a project I started, but on the flip side, I am often sad at the prospect of moving on to something new.
I own a Roku device for my television set and with it, I am able to watch old television shows that are no longer on the air. Most recently, I started watching Lost. Within one episode, I was completely hooked. I would spend rainy Saturdays on my couch viewing back-to-back episodes. When first-run shows were airing repeats, I would watch an episode of Lost instead. Before I knew it, I was beginning the sixth (and final) season. When it hit me that I only had five episodes remaining, I was beside myself and made it a point to spread out my viewing over as long a period of time as possible. I refused to watch more than one episode in a single viewing, if another show I had even the tiniest desire to watch was airing, I would postpone watching another episode of Lost to watch that show instead. But, at last, I couldn’t put it off any longer and I watched the final episode of the series on Saturday—not before watching the pilot episode of the series one more time. Saying goodbye to Jack, Sawyer(especially Sawyer), Kate, Hugo, Sayed, Jin, Sun and even John Locke, was very emotional as was reuniting with some of the original characters like Boone and Shannon.
My mixed emotions towards finishing things do not only apply to television, but to completing my novels. Saturday was a big day for me, not only because I watched the last-ever episode of Lost, but because I wrote the final chapter of my fourth novel (title to be disclosed at a later date). Although I have to go back and fill in some holes in the manuscript before I can truly say that I am finished with the first draft, writing the final scene—the final sentence—had a tremendous physiological effect on my mood and I almost cried. In fact, I wanted to cry. I was choked up not only out of pride, but out of sadness that my character’s journey was over and I am nowhere near ready to say goodbye to her or her friends, family, and romantic attachments yet. I suppose it’s a good thing that I have several rounds of edits to do before I even hand the manuscript over to my beta readers for their thoughts, make additional changes, submit to my publisher, and make more modifications based on my editor’s comments. Still, the book itself has been written and I’m sad. There are authors who write and publish three-four books a year but even if I was a full-time writer, I honestly do not think I would want to write more than one or two books a year because I get so incredibly vested in my characters and I enjoy getting to know them over a longer period of time. In fact, it takes me at least a month of writing a new book before I am “over” my previous novel and one hundred percent motivated to start over again. Interestingly, I am often like this with my love life as well—I do not move on quickly. Unless I am mistreated or disrespected and then all bets are off. I don’t expect my novels to mistreat me, although I can’t say the same for some readers/reviewers 🙂
Once I begin the editing stage of one book, I start thinking about what I will write next and that, too, can be very stressful. This time around, I am almost positive that I will be writing a sequel to Blogger Girl and so, while I will have to bid adieu to Maggie and her friends, I am very excited to say hello (again) to Kimmie, Nicholas, Bridget and the rest of the Blogger Girl family.
I loved this post! We have so much in common. I can’t stand finishing a show or book that I love and try to stretch it out for as long as I can. I’ve only experienced the strange sadness & excitement of finishing my own book once, but it felt exactly as you described it. Congratulations on finishing your fourth book! Thanks also for making me feel better about my inability to write books more quickly. One or two a year would be the most I could do too. It’s such an emotional journey! Thanks for these wonderful thoughts on “Finishing.” 🙂
Glad to know I’m not alone in getting attached to my manuscripts. Thanks so much for commenting!
Thanks, Francine! I will be calling on you to help me write the blurb…Just a warning 😉
I am the exact same way with watching a TV show or reading one of my books. But I always try to tell myself when I’m sad about it ending that I can always go back to re-watch/re-read & visit those characters again.
I cannot wait for your next book! Awhoo hoo! I still have to read Blogger Girl but then I’ll be all caught up & wanting some more! 🙂
Thank you, Mandie! I absolutely re-watch televisions shows. And I’m guessing I will revisit Lost again too.
Glad you’re looking forward to my next book!
I can definitely understand what you mean about the TV shows…I had been binge watching the final season of Being Erica (It’s an amazing Canadian show…check it out) and then I realized I had four episodes left. Ahhh! I think I did the same thing as you and just watched an episode at a time.
I may not write but I do read and it can be just as sad to finish reading a book. I’ve gotten into the characters’ lives and the story and then…it’s done. Sad!
But, as a reader, I’m also SUPER excited for your next projects. So keep finishing so I can keep reading, ok? 🙂
I LOVE Being Erica! But it was only on one channel here in the U.S. – Soap Net – and my cable company stopped carrying it during the 3rd season. I’m going to see if I can buy it on Netflix or Amazon.
Glad you’re excited for my next projects. I’m guessing you’re mostly excited for the next Blogger Girl installment 🙂
It’s TOTALLY worth the purchase. I bought all the seasons. My mom just finished watching all the shows and she adored it too.
And I’m excited for everything you do but, yes, I am especially excited for the next Blogger Girl book. What can I say. Kim and I are kindred spirits. 🙂
Congrats on writing that last sentence! Endings are hard, but new beginnings are worth it!
I can relate to this Meredith! I’m very glad you finished Blogger Girl – so did I, last night! It was great. It will be good to see those characters again in a sequel.