Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Celebrating The End: What's a Writer to Do?

On Friday night, I typed words that are magic to every author: The End.

They are glorious words, because they mean that an author has reached the end of a journey.

Characters that I first began to imagine two, almost three years ago have been fully developed and have lived their lives on the screen of my mind. I have taken faithful dictation and tried to capture their adventures on the page. I have emailed the crazy long document to my editor, and now I wait, I pause before I receive the macro edits from her next month.

And here's where I, the neurotic writer, have a problem.

My type A personality leaps to the forefront because literally ten minutes after hitting send, characters began screaming at me that it was time for their story to come to light.

You see, I am TERRIBLE at celebrating the end. This book was, I believe, manuscript 23 that I've turned into a publisher. And I'm still an abysmal failure and novice at taking a moment to breath and celebrate. Instead, I'm ready to launch into the very next adventure with barely a pause.

I spent Friday writing anywhere, so I could meet this deadline.
It worked.
I'm pretty sure that's not healthy. I'm sure there is someone out there thinking "this girl needs help."

The ironic thing is I am a big believer in the need to look back and celebrate what God has done in our lives. I fully believe our faith needs those pauses and moments of celebration. That moment where I pause and thank God for carrying me through another book.

About book 8 and 9, I thought I'd take the kids out to a movie every time I finish a book. I'm more of a Redbox girl myself. So this time I bought the new Star Wars movie and watched it with my husband and older kids. Does that count?

This time I purposely scheduled a spa day for Saturday morning. Now before you think that's awesome (which it was), I used a gift card I received last Mother's Day. It's almost this Mother's Day, folks! But I knew I really needed a pause this time. Something to look forward to because this book really kicked my behind. And that facial was sooo relaxing. And I'm still admiring my painted nails and toes. I just don't take the time for me, so it was awesome.

I also went to dinner with friends. The invitation was perfectly timed because one of the things I had to cut this go-around was making time to spend with friends. I was just stretched too thin. So an evening with friends and good food was ideal.

If you're a writer, how do you celebrate the end? And for the readers, how would you tell a writer to celebrate?


An award-winning author of twenty books, Cara is a lecturer on business and employment law to graduate students at Purdue University’s Krannert School of Management. Putman also practices law and is a second-generation homeschooling mom. She lives with her husband and four children in Indiana.


Casey said...

GOOD FOR YOU! What you did, no matter the circumstances for how long you might have waited to do them, you still did them. You still made an effort and I'm so excited for you in finishing this book! I can't wait to read it. I know it's going to be a great one. :) So happy for you, friend!!

Robin E. Mason said...

WAIT!! WHAT?!?!? you mean we're NOT supposed to jump straight into the next one in queue? whichever one that might be, that elbowed its way to the front of the line??? but, but, they've been SCREAMING at me!!!!

CONGRATULATIONS Cara on typing those two little magical words!! enjoy your accomplishment and indulge yourself before relenting to those screaming new characters!

Amber Schamel said...

Congratulations, Cara!

THE End is an accomplishment every time, because every book has its own set of obstacles.

Question for you. I have heard it said, and have found it to be true, that you shouldn't wait very long-if at all-before starting your next project because your writing brain will get out of the groove. What are your thoughts on that? How long do you wait before starting the next project?

Cara Putman said...

Thanks, Casey. It felt so good to turn this one in!

Robin, you can start right away :) I often have to, but the pause felt really good this time!

Amber, that's a great question. I think you have to learn your writing pace and brain. If I take too long off - a month or two - it can be a struggle to get back in. But I've developed cues to tell my brain it's time to get creative. One I use is certain Pandora channels I've created. Another is where I write -- and sometimes just changing where I write can help get the creativity going again.

Amber Schamel said...

Great suggestions, Cara. Thank you!