Celebrate or Drown Your Sorrows?

Finishing the Book: Celebrate or Drown Your Sorrows?Amanda Palmer posted a photo of herself on her blog yesterday, wearing a bra and panties, holding a wine glass in the air.

She wrote in no uncertain terms about the reason for her celebration.

I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK
I FINISHED MY BOOK

She looks exactly how it seems one should feel after completing a book: euphoric.

I envy her pure, unhinged joy. And I can honestly say I’ve never, ever felt like that on finishing a novel. Not once.

For me, finishing a project is more about reaching a quiet agreement with myself that it’s time to stop, than it’s like hitting the last chord in the final encore. Perhaps it’s because I’m a writer and not a performer, but I find “The End” to be a bittersweet moment.

A book-length project takes so long that it becomes woven into the fabric of my life. It becomes part of the definition for the time period it occupied: the year we painted the house yellow, the year of the floods, the year I wrote Wake Up Call. I dream about my novel characters. In my head, they’re as real as people I know, maybe even more real than people I know only on the Internet. Finishing a book is an accomplishment to be celebrated, but it’s also a sad goodbye.

Maybe someday I’ll finish a book and have that crazy, last-day-of-school feeling. I kind of hope not, though. I think I’d rather miss every one.

How about you?

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