It’s a cousin to Buyer’s Remorse – the feeling of let-down that follows immediately after a major purchase such as a car or house. The feeling of, like the golden oldie says, is that all there is?
And I’m suffering from it.
After working for six years on my novel – six years during which I thought about it constantly, jotted down snippets of overheard conversations to pepper into the dialogue, basically lived, breathed, and showered with it – the thing is finished. I’ve polished, re-written, edited, and re-edited, and I’ve found a Beta-Reader who was a professional editor in a past life. It’s the best I can do.
So I checked in with an online group of writers I chat with on occasion. I told them of the unexpected feelings of loss that accompanied my novel’s completion. One savvy writer said the feelings are basically empty nest syndrome, and that feels about right. Because it definitely is akin to the feeling of giving birth, raising the child, and then watching her walk away to seek her fortune in the world, knowing she doesn’t need you anymore.
Several of my chat-writers told me to get back on the horse and start another novel. Others said I should take a break and do something totally un-writer-like for several weeks before beginning something new.
I haven’t had the heart to begin a new novel. At least, not until this morning.
Today I awakened to my Protagonist’s voice yammering away about a woman who just moved into the house across the street.
“She’s having trouble sleeping because of weird noises coming from her basement,” says my Protagonist.
“Aha,” I say. “Weird noises from her basement is good. And then what if…”
And we’re off.