So what is it like to finish a novel?
That’s easy to answer – it’s just like finishing a marathon.
See? Easy. Now do you … what? Wait … are you telling me you haven’t run a marathon?
Okay, let me try to explain : It is well known among the running community that after finishing a marathon (especially the first one), one experiences a period of depression and maybe even a bit of loss. You’ll try to work out but it’s done rather haphazardly and without much enthusiasm. It can take weeks, even months before you jump back into a training plan.
The reason is simple really. Running a marathon is a tremendous goal. Weeks and months, maybe even half a year has been spent preparing for the event. And as Steph said last night, “I spent months training for this and I’m done by noon!”
So that’s a lot like how it feels to finish a novel. Over a year and a half of writing a story and I finished before dinner.
To combat this post-event (novel or marathon) lethargy, it is recommended to have a plan. On the running front, that’s usually a few miles a day or sign up for another race. Anything to keep the body moving and recharge the batteries.
My post-novel plan is to tackle a couple of short stories in need of editing and send them off to markets. Then it’s the revision process which should take a couple of months. Before either of those happen, I intend to recharge my batteries with reading, relaxation … and ironically enough, a little bit running.