Can someone please explain to me the real psychology of melancholy after we artist types finish a major accomplishment?
I have heard of the blue note that levels the actor after a long run of a play. I’ve heard the same of actors hitting the wall after a movie, or television show, too.
What I can’t understand is where it comes from.
I just finished my first novel and I’m plummeting toward earth at Mach speed. I keep trying to pull the ripcord, but there is none. The ground is coming up fast and there is no darn parachute.
I’ve never really had it happen after writing a script. After one job there is always the next and hopefully the next. It can be a grind, but it’s a nice grind.
I had a story in my head for nearly a decade. I spit it out. Nearly coughed it onto six hundred pages, and then the writing began.
Hour after hour, day after day, night after night, I kept stealing time. Yes, real stealing, like a bonefide thieve that takes time away and doesn’t ever intend on giving it back. I stole and stole and stole time away from friends and family.
I had to take the beatings with honor by biting on a stick. There is nothing to say. There is no excuse that is satisfactory to non-writers. Writers just take the beatings. They are unavoidable.
Sorry, all us writers know that we could bleed while writing but to non-writers it still isn’t work. Oh, man. Don’t get me started. That’s a whole other 100-volume blog post!
Anyway, I suffered long and hard. I finished!
A script is a dead sprint. It’s the 100 meter and 200 meter dash. Look out, now I’ve started I’m coming around the bend and nothing and no one is going to stop me!
A novel is another race that’s called a ‘fracking’ marathon. (What? I’m the only Battle Star Galactica geek? I don’t think so.)
So there I am, attempting the impossibility of finishing a novel. Everything gave out; my arms, my legs, my eyes, my knees, my central nervous system and I kept going.
No one on the sidelines cheering and handing me water, either. Come on you non-writers. You know you don’t cheer for us. And if you do cheer it’s only because when we’re finished there is someone else to mow the lawn or watch the kids, or go to the movies with or the beach or the store or shopping, or dinner. You know, all those civilian things non-writers do.
And I finished. I did it! I crawled over the finish line on my hands and knees. A hair shy of eighty-six thousand words.
Can someone please write me and tell me why such a major accomplishment saddens the artist?
Oh, yeah. I forgot to share.
I started my next novel. It was the only ripcord I could find.