Do you remember that feeling you got as a kid when a birthday would come and go, or Christmas morning passed in a blur, and suddenly it was all over and you were left feeling a little let down?
It was the post-celebration blues, and they snuck up on you every single time.
The same feeling washes through when you finish writing a book. It’s sort of a day-after, did-that-really-happen kind of feeling that leaves you wringing your hands and wondering what you should do next.
The thing is, there’s still a lot to be done. Just like after a great birthday party, or a memorable Christmas, there is cleaning up to do. A new day dawns, and brings with it a flurry of activity. And yet you find yourself a bit dejected for a few days until the moment finally passes and you can start looking forward to the next celebration.
Wendy and I turned in our manuscript on Tuesday. It’s been an intense couple of weeks as we’ve gone through the book with a fine-tooth comb, pulling out sections that didn’t make sense, or stopped the flow. We’ve done rewrites, and we’ve challenged one another on theological concepts, always pushing each other toward becoming stronger communicators.
We’ve pushed ourselves late into the night, and throughout the day, filling each down moment with editing and sharpening.
And now it’s out of our hands.
Add to the the fact that I turned my novel back into the editor on Sunday night after doing all the rewrites, and you find me here in the corner, feeling like my birthday and Christmas just rolled past me in one giant swoop. I’m a little sad that it’s over.
There’s still so much to be done, obviously, but today I’m simply in that strange aftermath – the waiting period before life kicks back into gear.
Tomorrow my husband celebrates his birthday. He’s had a stressful few months as well, so we’re sneaking away for a few days, just the two of us. We’ll join Matt and Wendy in San Diego, and we’ll celebrate birthdays and finished manuscripts.
And hopefully we’ll sleep, because I’m running on fumes.
I’m not taking my computer with me, and I’m not going to lie – I’ve had a couple of panic attacks today as I’ve thought about leaving it behind. I need to get started on marketing plans, and I need to finish my ebooks. I need to contact people for endorsements, and I have a MOPS talk to prepare.
But if I don’t stop to take a breath, I simply won’t make it to the next goal.
There’s something to be said about stepping back and taking it all in. Just like there’s something to be said about sitting in front of the fireplace the day after Christmas and not diving right into the cleaning and organizing. Memories can’t be made if we don’t stop to digest the moments.
Books won’t be launched if we don’t stop and digest the accomplishment of writing them.
So tomorrow morning, I will drag myself out of bed at O’Dark Thirty (it’s hard to fly from one coast to the other), and I will leave the work behind. It’ll all be waiting for me when I return, no doubt.
I’m going to step away and celebrate the accomplishment of finishing these first steps. This is the time to breathe, to soak it all in, and to not think about what’s next.
So that’s where I’ll be, and that’s what I’ll do. And hopefully I’ll come home relaxed, refreshed, and ready to prepare for the next big celebration. TWO BOOK LAUNCHES!