• It is said that good things come to those who wait. I believe that good things come to those who work. - Wilt Chamberlain
  • A professional writer is an amateur who didn't quit. - Richard Bach
  • You don't find time to write. You make time. It's my job. - Nora Roberts
  • Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - Buddha
  • Luck is when an opportunity comes along and you're prepared for it. - Denzel Washington
  • I can accept failure, but I can't accept not trying. - Michael Jordan

Monday, June 7, 2010

The Letdown That Follows 'The End'

Writing is a process that for some takes months, others years. The idea for a story can take shape from something as simple as driving a blind curve on a road, watching a young couple kiss, or reading a news story on the Internet. (At least for me.) With the implantation of that single seed every writer begins to think, to research and plot (at least to varying degrees) before getting down to the actual business of writing.

Planning the celebration to follow my youngest child's Bat Mitzvah was very similar. It started months ago with an idea for a candy theme. I thought about place cards, candy centerpieces and giveaways. I researched and found the perfect party planner, candy torah seating cards, personalized string backpacks, DJ, photographer, and photo favor company. I created a guest list then contracted, designed, and ordered what I needed.

The day of the Bat Mitzvah felt similar to when I finish a first draft. I felt a sense of excitement, accomplishment that it all came together the way I'd planned. My daughter was beautiful, poised, and dare I say perfect!!! No mother could have been prouder! The reception was fabulous, the food delicious, and the dancing....let's just say quite a few of my muscles and discs rebelled at the overzealous activities of the day!

When the party was over and I looked back at how it all went, it felt similar to the revision process. What would I have done differently, how could I have made things better? For one, I would have eaten more or at least asked that my salmon be packaged up for me to eat later. (As a result of this oversight we stopped at a local hamburger restaurant on the way home from the with my glow stick necklace!) Second, I would have worn a pair of the colorful ped socks we distributed to the kids instead of playing grownup and keeping my heels on the entire time. (An oversight I'm still feeling the effects of today!) Third, I would not have allowed my daughter to wear a strapless dress. (An oversight that had her tugging up her bodice throughout the day.) Unfortunately, a writer can go in and revise to fix the details to make them better. The mother of the Bat Mitzvah girl cannot. Luckily the problems were minor in comparison to all the fun we had!

And finally, the day after the party, just like when a manuscript's final final edits are complete and it's on its way to the agent/editor for review, I experienced the the letdown of 'The End'. Just like I miss the characters who have been a daily part of my life for months, I miss the planning and anticipation of my daughter's big day, which is now just another happy memory.

How do you feel when you've finally completed your manuscript and sent it off? Are you relieved? Sad? Do you obsess and wish you'd made a few more changes? Do you get right to work on your next project, or do you give yourself a much needed break?


  1. I don't feel a let down, but I do feel a huge sense of relief. I think that I always hae a hard time unplugging or saying to myself, Take a break, it's okay. But whenever I finish a draft or send something out, I feel this dizzying high that I have accomplished something for reals, and can now take a break without guilt!

    Angela @ The Bookshelf Muse

  2. By the time I send something, I can't look at it anymore.

    And I reward myself too many breaks as it is.

  3. Hi Angela!
    After I send out a manuscript I, too, feel a huge sense of relief, followed closely by anticipation that has me compulsively checking my e-mail/snail mail.

    Hi Terri!
    When I have to make revision after revision on a story I've already worked on for over a year, I begin to get sick of it, too. I'm battling that very problem as I type (on my blog instead of my WIP!)

  4. Wendy, I'm so glad your daughter's big day was such a success!

  5. Wendy, I am so glad your daughter's Bat Mitzvah was wonderful. She's blessed to have you as her mom.

    Since she's your youngest and, I assume, this is your last time to host this particular celebration for one of your kids, I bet there's a little extra emotion attached. But now the happiness and wonderful memories be yours forever!

  6. Thanks, Regina! You have no idea how much I appreciate your kind words. (Considering my daughter and I just had a huge argument over the content and neatness of her thank you cards!)

  7. I celebrate but there is a bit of a mourning period--a "what now?" kind of time. But something usually fills in the gap.

    Congratulations on your daughter's bat mitzvah.

  8. Wendy, Glad your daughter's day went well. When I finish a book and send it off, I feel enervated because I can go onto something new.

  9. Hi Christine! Hi Janet!
    I can relate to both of you. Planning a new project can be daunting and exciting at the same time.
    Thanks for stopping by!

  10. Here's a comment my Cousin Stephie sent me via e-mail:

    The Bat Mitzvah was fabulous. I had a great time.
    I wish you had more kids.

    On your blog you ask:
    How do you feel when you've finally completed your manuscript , etc...

    When I finish a painting, I stare at it for a few days.
    I like it, but how much?
    It takes about a month before I can assess it because it's still part of me.
    Then, I usually think the newest painting is the best.
    But, I find that everyone picks out a different painting as their favorite.
    I start the next one soon. (I've been saving ideas up for decades.)
    So many to do, so little time.

  11. Thanks for visiting my blog, Stephie!

    Re: You wish I had more kids.
    Three is all I can handle! We'll have to wait for Isabelle!

    Re: It takes a month before you can assess your paining...
    It's the same for writers. Before you can do an effective edit you must put your manuscript away for a period of time to distance yourself so you can look at it objectively. Some experts say at least two weeks. Others say for as long as you can.

  12. Hi Wendy-

    Your daughter did a superb job reading her torah portion and handling the duties of a Bat-Mitzvah girl!

    All your hard work and attention to detail made for a wonderful celebration afterward. The food was delicious and plentiful and everyone seemed to enjoy the company and festivities of that very special day in your family's life. Mazel Tov!

  13. Thanks, Dale!
    The day was all the more special because you and Phil were there to share it with us!!!

    And welcome to my new follower, Meika!