Writing Letdown · 7 October 2023

There is a certain letdown when I finish a writing project, like a tire that has lost its air due to a slow leak. Sssssss.

It may or may not be an apt comparison, but writing can be like a slow leak. At least for me. I have this great energy when I start a project. It is fresh and new. And I can keep that energy up as long as the project is going. But when the story is finished, I see that the tire is flat. All the air has drained out due to some small leak.

Not every project is like that mind you. It just seems that there are some projects that just leave me with little to no energy when they are finished. Perhaps it is just that the mental and emotional energy of the story has sapped my strength. In fact, I barely had enough energy to finish the latest story. It pretty much wrote itself, except the end was flat. But I will fix it. Either in a couple days or after the first read through.

Which is an interesting change in metaphors. After all, air is not really the energy in a tire. It is just what keeps the rubber on the road. The energy comes from the engine. So maybe writing projects are more like running a marathon (which I have never done). By the time you finish, your energy is gone. The writing, writing, writing takes all your energy so that you can barely cross the finish line.

At any rate.

All that is to say that I finished what seemed to be a big project. It did not take that long to write, but it took every writing moment to finish. The interesting thing is that it took some turns that I did not anticipate. I guess that usually happens to me. My stories rarely turn out the way I envision them. Oh they start out the way I imagined and they end pretty close to how I thought they would, but the twists and turns that the story takes to get there are often not how I thought would happen along the way.

Maybe that is where the energy sap comes from. I do not so much create the story as I follow it along wherever it might lead. And in following, I must keep up with the characters and what they are thinking and feeling. I must get in their heads. I must feel their emotions. And that is tiring. Thinking and feeling for myself is tiring enough. Thinking and feeling for others, even fictional others, is exhausting.

I suppose that is the letdown at the end of a writing project. I can stop thinking and feeling for all the characters in my project. I can stand up after crawling across the finish line. I can pump the air back into my tires. And I can recharge my batteries as I get ready for the onslaught of emotions as I start my next project. Hummm. (Or whatever sound a battery makes when it is charging.)

© 2023 Michael T. Miyoshi

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