What comes after you have finished a project?

I wanted to share something that many of you may find interesting, may have been thinking about.I was on a writing and poety message board tonight. This was a question I replied to: 

“Do any of you, having just completed a project, be it a long or even a short poem, have a sense of emptiness, whether you will ever write another poem at all?”

Here are my responses: 

“Man the low after a project is over can be one of the loneliest feelings a human can feel, but in this, it can be one of the most real times that one can actually feel, Human.”

and then I was asked to expand on my statement, which I of course did:

“First, in short, because when you complete something, after all of the drafts and sleepless nights, after so many re-writes and edits, you’re left with just you, your hands, your hopes, your fears; you’re left alone, even your words walk away from you. It’s if something died and was born at the same time. You’re no longer really a writer. You were the writer. Now, you are just you, just a human. In long…this might be a bit much, but since you asked…”

” I can go on and get off track rather easily. I’ve been writing and learning how to write for almost ten years now. I’ve put thousands of hours into each project, getting better with each one. The thing is, if you are like me, you get obsessed with this idea of perfection, suffer lulls with drafting, of trying to remember what the point is. And I’ve been fortunate enough to have people that for some reason believe(d) in me, loved me, and pushed me as they worked at dead-end jobs while I feverishly typed up my work, made the art for my books, and then went on book tours, with just myself, trying to get some kind of return for my family. I always bounce back, but after each project, as years go by, as I get older, the need for some kind of monetary return threatens to rip apart everything I love about writing and life and being an artist. It’s hard to understand the writer, the poet, especially in this day and age.They’re a type of person that goes back as far as human history does, but the need to create, even in the face of sickness, abandonment, ridicule, these real life things never go away, and if you’re a writer, you keep going in the face of the times and the era in which you were born, and why, I’m not sure; I think it has something to do with this IS what you ARE, and nothing can change that, even you, the writer/poet, can’t change that which they have, for some reason, become.Being a writer, for me, is something that I will always be, a part of me, but this has made it very hard with each failure that leads me up to a possible final breakthrough. This fear of finishing a projected has, at times, caused me to freeze,not finishing off books and thinking about applying for so-called real jobs,and so I do try to quit, because I’ve been engaged before, and then left, after my books and projects couldn’t support a family. Its about many things, its about the will of the writer, the cursed/blessed,an aspect of them that will write and create until they die. This is also seen through the lenses of bewilderment by the others who can’t grasp what you’re doing any of this for. I recently completed three short books, and went on tour around the Midwest of the United States, selling enough for rent, but then it dried up, and then more people left me, saying I was delusional for keeping on with what I was doing. But I charged on, and now I’m set to release another collection and I have two books completed that I’m looking for a publisher for.This is a long road, and not an easy one, and that’s why, completing a project is so lonely, because when the final proofs are checked off, usually late or early in the morning for me, well then I sit back and wonder, what the hell I’m doing this for.I know, but I think of my loved ones, sleeping, hoping that this is when the returns arrive, wondering if we can start talking about a family, a real life.It’s as if some people wonder if the writer is a real profession, if being a person of words, is something that this global world even needs anymore. I would say yes, that each writer and poet are some of the most important and well rounded individuals and humanitarians that this strange new world has right now, but still, when the books are bounded and I leave for another trip, the pressure of success is at it’s finest hour.Maybe it’s the people around me, maybe I should not care as much about their dreams,but I do, and I love them, I want to see them happy.Being a writer, for me, is art, first and foremost,art, learning how to say things in a little bit of a different way. It’s about finding my humanity, losing the self, growing with this strange existence that I share with every single person alive. It’s about history, evolution, the greater good, but at the same time, it’s a job. This is the lull, the darkness, the expectations, and then, you’re just you again, just the crazy writer, and in the end you’re not sure if what you lost, will ever be made up for with your words.”

2 thoughts on “What comes after you have finished a project?

  1. This post really made me think! I agree completely that there is an odd feeling after spending months writing something. The feeling that is a mix of, ‘what was the point of that?’ and ‘what next?’.

    When you are an unpublished author like me, it’s sometimes hard to really force yourself to continue writing just for the fun of it.

    But I always find after a few weeks the familiar urges resurfacing, basically forcing me to want to write again. Eventually the urges are so strong, it just becomes more of an effort to _not_ write.. and then I start again on a new piece :)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s