The Mark Blog

Please Don't Go!

One more workshop left before the final review, otherwise known as Judgment Day. As this event hovers on the horizon, I am pushing to finish this draft of the novel in the next two and half weeks. I want this draft to be as close as I can get to a workable version of a final draft. I want to fix as many things as I can before the final review so I can take full advantage. Considering how much there is to “fix,” this means consuming copious amounts of coffee and skipping sleep so they actually have to grab the draft out of my hand for the final review.

This means that as I close in on the last mile of this literary marathon, I have to prepare to let it go. I know other writers have talked about books being their children and I definitely feel that I am entering the beginning stages of Empty Nest Syndrome (from here on out referred to as EPS). My creativity is the house, the domicile, that shelters my novel. I am going to have to let this novel go. As much as I want to finish, to bring it to an end, to send it out on its own, to purge it from my system, the idea of not having it occupy my mind and leaving my house of creativity is, well, devastating. I can honestly admit that I am experiencing the symptoms of EPS:

  • Depression
  • Loss of purpose
  • Worry, stress, or anxiety over the welfare of the child (otherwise known as the novel)
  • Feelings of rejection

I have raised this novel to be the best novel I think it can be. I don’t know how it will do out there, but I hope it will make others happy. I wish I had more wisdom to give other parents of novels, but I don’t. The best you can do as a novel parent is aim to always be the best version of yourself and hope that your novel reflects all those lessons you’ve learned. But once it’s gone, I can’t control what happens to it, in it, anymore. So here I am with, yes, feelings of depression, because after I send this novel off, I won’t have any purpose to write, I will worry over how it will fare, and I will wonder why it left me.

As graduation ceremonies are being planned all over the country, there are parents who are dreading the silence and freedom of the empty domicile. I feel you, I really do. In the meantime, I am preparing my offspring for the world at large, hoping that it succeeds. As I look back on the early drafts, I am amazed at how far it's come. For now, I will mourn its leaving while cleaning out my house, and make room for a new novel.