The “Black Hole” after finishing a first draftPosted: June 24, 2012
I have been working for 5 straight months on the first draft of a novel. I finished that first draft yesterday at around 4pm. The total word count came out to be just under 140,000 words equaling 482 pgs.
My initial reaction was extreme excitement. This lasted for about five seconds.
The next feeling I had was irrational disappointment that I had not reached my goal of 150,000 words. Now, I do at least recognize that this is a ridiculous frame of mind, but I can’t help feeling how I feel. In a way these types of feelings continue to drive me forward, or “keep moving forward” like I quoted the other day.
The worse thing was that being a “penniless writer” (to quote another movie, hey what can I say I like cheesy movie quotes) I had no money to go out and celebrate. I won’t even get paid until Monday. Now some day I may look back on this and think that that’s rather funny and ironic. But for now it just kinda sucks.
Still I have to say that I was decently satisfied with myself for finishing this modestly large work. Though I know I have a lot of editing to do. I also need to wait a week or two to let my mind settle before I can start editing.
So today I woke up with a massive black hole inside of me. Why? Because I didn’t have that piece of fiction waiting for me to come home and work on it. I have been doing the same daily routine for five months (time permitting of course). And now it abruptly stops.
It feels like someone has clenched onto my heart and ripped it out.
Right I know this is depressing. But it’s how I feel.
The next question I would assume anyone would ask is, “Why do you do it?”.
Because I love it. Not the feeling of my heart being ripped out of my chest. But the feeling of accomplishment. The knowing that I have a huge chunk of manuscript sitting on my hard drive, and backed up in three different places. A manuscript that hopefully in a few months time might be ready to send out into the world. The idea that I will be able to share this with others.
That’s why we write. Because it calls to something deep down inside. We all have something to say, and writers need to say it with written words. And when it’s taken away it is like losing a family member.
So now I have this black hole that I need to fill. What am I going to do about it? I can’t start a new novel yet. I don’t want to start a short story for fear it will turn into a bigger novel.
Well, I think I will just blog, and then maybe go for a long bike ride, and go to the beach. Why not? I could use the excersise after sitting down for so long.