Right after you hit "Send" or drop the tome into the mailbox, that euphoric flush of victory flows through you. A few doubts linger; maybe you should have removed that cigar-smoking clown in scene four and made him a lawyer instead. You get the picture. The euphoria lasts a couple of days in my case and then cold, hard withdrawal sets in. What to work on next? Mind you, I've just spent 8 months on this book, creating the work in 2/3's of the time I usually spend. I'm emotionally, physically and mentally tired. And I'm already spinning plots for Book 2.
I've forced myself to stay away from 'the work' this last week. It's been penance. I mucked out my office (lots of garbage bags full of stuff), organized my reference materials for the Victorian books and even brought my business finances up to date to file the taxes. And yet, my mind is still screaming like a toddler who spies a big jar of M&M's just out of arm's reach. "Wanna write!" it shouts, kicking its legs and pounding its fists onto the carpet.
I took refuge in Terry Prachett and his Diskworld Series. The books are always sharp, satirical and outright funny. Mr. P. is one of the rare authors I don't feel the need to mentally edit. I'm too engrossed in the story to bitch about how the book opened or why he chose to make a point-of-view shift at that moment in the story. Other authors drive me nuts. Mr. Pratchett entertains me. He keeps me sane and that's saying a great deal. May his life be long, fruitful and full of endless creative wit. Maybe someday I'll have the opportunity to thank him in person.
Next week I will begin work on the rewrite of my first fantasy book and start the "noodling process" on the second book in the Victorian Time Travel/Shapeshifter series. The characters are muttering amongst themselves and I suppose I should sit in on a couple of their strategy sessions before they get too far ahead of me and create a nightmare of a plot.
I've had my rest. It's time to get back to work. I can only stand the screaming toddler for so long.