Novelists need a rite of passage for finishing a novel. We need to find some way to ground ourselves and to move on from these projects, which, in my case, took two years. But, how do you let go?
The world of my novel started with one brief impression, and from that impression I built a world. Writing it was like treading water in an open ocean. First, I pulled together strands of seaweed. One by one, I clutched at them, and then while still sputtering to stay above the waves, I wove the seaweed tight into a raft, struggled on board and sailed my raft from one shore to the next.
Now that I’ve reached the shore, I’m not sure how to get off or even if I want to. If I do, will my raft sink, disappear, or dissolve before me? Can I stand to watch it from a distance, to turn my back on it, and start all over again?
It’s been two weeks since I finished my project and I’m just not sure what to do with myself. I have decided that the only way to move on is to say goodbye, firmly, officially, and with intent. I have no idea what this rite of passage will look like, only that it must happen.