How & Why to Celebrate Your Writing.
I recently finished a draft of a new series and I can tell you that the high highs feel so good, but can quickly give way to low lows. The more I thought about this and asked around, the more I realized that there was a commonality here. Particularly for creative types, although it's important to keep in mind that the degree of intensity can vary for any number of reasons or change day to day.
Dealing in generalities, it's safe to say that most people feel a little gloomier on a Monday, right? Sluggish. Wallowing back to the grind after two days of enjoyable downtime, a special project, a movie, family/friends, etc.
What about coming back from a long vacation? That sharp drop-off once the fun is over. The stabbing reality of returning to your responsibilities after a flurry of activity, (or in-activity), that made you feel so free.
This is a chemical reaction in our brains that we've all dealt with at one time or another, and one that should be understood as a means of taking that power back.
This is true for all kinds of people; especially artists and musicians, but for the purposes of this blog, I'm focusing on writers. For us, it can be a bit more personal. We're highly sensitive. We isolate ourselves for the sake of our work. We dedicated time - LOTS of fucking time - until we have something to show for it, but a script, (or certainly a series of scripts), is not something that anyone can walk by and admire like a piece of art hanging on a wall. It takes time and effort on the part of the reader.
So, I can understand when people don't read the scripts I've sent. I don't take it personally. I have absolutely not read things that people have sent me, despite my best intentions. I have a stack of books that I paid for that I haven't read also.
LIFE IS CHAOS and not everyone is on your timeline.
The truth is that your friends are going to say congratulations whether they've read your script or not. Whether you've explained the premise or not. And while constructive feedback means a lot, we don't necessarily need someone to pat us on the back. In many cases, we already know if the script is good or where it needs work or how to make it better.
In other words, get out of the house and be social for the sake of being social, not to get feedback or praise.
Be in a physical space with another human and try to laugh at the same time. If possible - at the same thing.
Celebrate in your own way and do it for yourself, but keep in mind that having other people around can help to heal and recharge you before heading back to the isolation of writing and climbing around in your own head. Share the experience with friends and loved ones when you can, but also - don't pin yourself to that idea or rely on someone else to be your support system, because the crash can be even harder when a friend "can't make it". People are busy. Do something you love for yourself as a reward for all of the hard work you committed to AND completed.
Above all, as I mentioned earlier - a little note for the back of your head -
EXPECT THAT CRASH.
It's science, baby. Understanding what you're dealing with can truly help to lessen the blow.
Most writers accept that writing can be an exercise in solitude. No TV. No audio books. Maybe music, if it can enhance and not detract. (Personally, I usually need silence, but I am learning some new tricks, which have been helpful and allowed me to enjoy more music than I have in the past. This is lovely, btw.)
So, when I finished my new series, I was excited; dancing and singing my stupid little heart out before I eventually wound up on the couch, just feeling like none of it really mattered.
It's a really shit feeling, but I had pushed and pushed for weeks and I needed the downtime to recuperate. I squozed that baby out and I was drained - physically, mentally and emotionally. It was postpartum depression for birthing these characters into a world that I had also created. Poor bastards. Will they be loved? Who knows... the world is a cruel and mysterious place. I love them, so that's a start and that's what matters most.
So... CELEBRATE IT. In every way you can. Kick your feet up. Share the work. Get some feedback, but don't rely on it. Be around other people and soak up some sun before crawling back to your hole.
EXTRA SPECIAL HUGE THANKS to those that DID read my scripts and provided feedback. Thumping Heart Emoji.
Til next time - thanks for reading...