I FINISHED MY NOVEL.

I FINISHED MY NOVEL.

I! FINISHED!! MY!!! NOVEL!!!!

I am proud as a proud thing to have hit the save button for the last time, and now I’m just sitting back and letting all the emotions wash over me. Some of them are good, and some of them are bad, but it’s not every day you finish a novel, so I’m just letting them happen.

I’m exhausted. This has been a four-year journey and now I need a nap.

I’m panicking. Lady of Daemons is so far from actually being done. There are agents to research, query letters to write, and lots of edits to be made for my future agent and editor. And all of that is assuming that an agent actually wants to represent this novel, which, you know…what if they don’t??

I’m nostalgic. Ohhh, remember when Beth was capable of handling any kind of emotions?? Remember when Winnie was a boy with a twin brother?? Good times.

I’m inspired. My brain is positively exploding with ideas. It’s been eighty-four years since I wrote anything new, but now that my edits are done, the world is my writerly oyster. I want to finish The Final Days, plot four new novels, and submit to every literary magazine on the planet, all at once.

I’m intimidated. Nothing like having to turn your attention to querying to take the wind out of your sails.

The one thing I don’t feel? Regret. It’s tempting to look back and think, “Oh, if I’d worked on it more consistently, Lady of Daemons would have been finished years ago,” or, “Man, if I’d only started with an outline, that would have been a much easier novel to write.” But it’s hard to summon up any real desire to indulge in those thoughts. I just accomplished something HUGE and I just don’t have it in me to bring myself down.

(How do you cope with the end of a novel? Do you find that self-doubt tends to settle in after a while? Do you take a break between projects, or do you go straight into the next one?