Today was a pretty good day, a milestone, you could say. I finished my NaNoWriMo 2015 entry, A Night in Annwn, a fortnight ahead of schedule and I finished editing the sixth volume, The Dream, in the Lek series Behind The Smile. I also have a novel of eighty thousand words called Andropov’s Cuckoo which is complete and edited, but as yet unpublished.
Therefore, if I wanted to, and I might, I could publish three novels this evening with a combined count of 240,000 words. That would be a milestone for me for sure.
My problem is that I always find this period after finishing a book depressing. Perhaps I should throw a party. I live in a small rice-growing village in northern Thailand. The ground is very fertile, but it still takes three to four months to grow and harvest a crop of rice. When the farmer has weighed his crop into the co-op, he will invite friends to a small party at his house. Since everyone here is a farmer, they all understand that such a day is a milestone marking the end of a lot of work and a pocket full of money.
However, when I finish a book it means nothing to anyone around here, not even my wife, although she has seen me finish 140 before. She was in my office this morning when I said ‘Finished’. ‘You said last night that you would have difficulties with this one’, she reminded me. ‘Yes, but the answer came to me in my sleep’, I replied. ‘Oh, that’s lucky…’ was all she could manage.
No ‘Well done!’ or ‘Congratulations!’ like the farmers get. Just, ‘Oh, that’s lucky…’
I know the problem, I don’t make a big deal out of finishing a book, my wife and friends assume that it is easy, and so not worthy of praise. However, you writers, and other artists out there, will know what it takes to spend weeks or months on a project, only to have it come abruptly to an end and be wondering what the Hell you’re going to do next.
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All the best.
Podcast: A Milestone