So I finished writing my novel last night. My twelfth novel. I still remember the exhilaration I’d felt when I finished my first one in 2005. Now, it’s more relief than exhilaration. Because now, here’s a list of what I can do, now that I am done writing!
1. I can get my life back. All these days my life was split between the lives of my protagonists and my own. In my head, they took up more place than real life people did. It’s not just that. I created and altered the events in their lives. I had to make sure it all mattered in the long run. Yeah, although I can get my life back now, what’s the fun in that?
2. I can go back to watching TV shows without feeling guilty. (Arrow, here I am!) I used to sneak in an episode here and there as reward for finishing a chapter. Now I can binge watch. Oh yay!
3. I can read a book without worrying that what I’m reading will colour my writing. I used to not read books at all when I started writing my second novel. I was scared something from what I read would slip in and I’d end up unconsciously internalising something I’ve read and spew it on my pages. Now that doesn’t happen but even when I’m reading, a part of me stays separate and doesn’t get involved because I don’t want to.
4. I can finally give some much needed rest to my wrists, palms, arms, shoulders. I’ve gone to sleep some days with aching shoulders and hands that hurt so much that I can’t even dream of holding a pen. Writing is physically hard work guys! Even when the words flow as you type them out, it ends up tiring you, mentally too. At the end of the writing day, you’re strung out and yet raring to go as soon as the next day comes.
5. I can stop worrying about what happens next because I bloody well know it now. I did know it when I started the book but it was mostly a hazy set of events that I’d constructed and noted down in my notebook. Once I get down to the actual writing, I have to either expand those events or change them altogether based on what’s happening.
So that’s my list of five things I can do now that I’ve finished writing my novel. Anyone wants to add anything to it? Go on. Help me make a list of things I can do now that I am done writing!