A land forged from the fires of strife, blood of heroes, and touch of the gods.
Where deeds of great valor, vile evils, and blazing passions intertwine
to shape the course of elven and human history within.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What To Do When The Saga Is Complete

You're done with it. All of it. Complete and published, on the shelves, selling like the proverbial hotcakes (hotcakes... mmmmm...). Reviews are great, readers are hailing the final installment as a great finish for a series that spans nearly a hundred years of book-time and scores of characters.

Births. Deaths. Victories. Defeats. Intrigue. Betrayals. Love. Romance. Sex. More sex. (yeah, we like sex, right?) It's all been part of the story, and now it's done. You bask in the glory, the adulation, the accolades. You raise a glass, propose a toast, and celebrate 'til the cows come home. 

Now what?

I find myself approaching this very point with The Ardwellian Chronicles, as Book Six is nearly complete and will be ready for the bookshelves next Spring. So like I said, now what?

First of all, I expect to feel a bit of letdown. Heck, I'm already feeling it, to be honest, because I know this is IT! The final book in the series, the last installment, the final roundup, The Last Huzzah (which is the title of the last part of Chapter Twelve, by the way). 

Oh, I have four more books planned in the series, but they're NOT in the sequential timeline like these six are. A couple will be collections of short stories that fill in some blanks, one will have essays and reprintings of some Elf Stuff, and one might even be a graphic novel, or an illustrated novel. But I don't have a schedule for those books... yet. Why? Because I want to (a) take a break from Ardwel, (b) write some other stuff, and (c) think about what's ahead in other areas of life.

By the time Book Six, Breath by Breath, is complete and available, I'll have been writing Ardwel for thirteen years straight. Six novels. Three compendiums. About a million-and-a-quarter words. And my brain is tired. 

Any time creative people complete a work, we always feel a sense of accomplishment, but a bit of melancholia as well, because that work is done, and we'll never have the satisfaction of doing it again... until we find the next challenge, the next project, the next... outlet. Because that's exactly what writing is to me, an outlet for my creativity. We need it, we crave it, we MUST HAVE IT! If creative people don't get their "fix", they become lethargic, dull, unmotivated, unhappy. Hell hath no furry like an unfulfilled artist! 

When you, a writer (or artist, or musician, or sculptor, or any other type of creative person) complete a project, be sure to take a bit of time to recharge and refresh. But my best advice is, BEFORE that time arrives, be sure to look around and find something to pique your interest that you can keep in mind, for when your project in hand is done. That way you'll have a fresh start all lined up and ready to go. You'll be chomping at the bit, straining against the reins, ready to release the brake and go screaming down the track once again. You know you will. It's what we do.

The best cure for an old love is a new love.

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