A Post about Post Novel Blues and How ta Beat ’em

Every time I finish a novel, I’m beat. I may work fast, but I also work hard, and yes, writing a novel isn’t the same as digging graves in the blistering sun (which I have also done), but it is work. Writing anything of merit is work. Even writing for fun is work. It takes time, mental energy, and dedication. Just because you enjoyed yourself or weren’t moving fifteen tons didn’t mean you didn’t work.

So, you work a lot, crash through the finish line, and then raise your hand in victory, but when the applause of friends and family starts to ease up and life rolls on its merry way, you can feel rather ragged. Relieved, sure, but ragged. You’ve stuck at something for a long time that is, at least for now, off the schedule.

It should be a time of joy, relaxing, and thinking about the next cool thing. But sometimes, you’re so tired you have a hard time easing back, taking a deep breath, and exhaling hard. Every morning this week, I was tired, but my brain was saying “get your 1500 words done, maggot, or no fame or glory for you!”

Before you know it, a time of celebration becomes kinda mired. Or, as comedian Louis CK would put it, “everything is amazing, and no one is happy.”

That hit me when I was folding laundry and watching some MYSTERY SCIENCE THEATER 3000. I was laughing, enjoying the hell out of their roast of DEVIL DOLL, then ran through my Netflix queue. It was full of amazing stuff. Crazy martial arts films and documentaries, lost TV shows and bizarre SF.

The pressure release valve in my head whistled as I looked at the covers of these movies and such, beamed down from the router, enjoyed via my PS3. All of this incredible art at my finger tips, to fill my tired brain with awesome chunks of freaky deaky.

It just felt good to see all that amazing, weird, art out there. And the cinnamon buns Erin got from Costco helped, too.

So, let’s fill up the well. Neil Gaiman once said the best advice he could give to a struggling writer was “go make great art.” It’s good advice, but since (ahem), I just finished doing that, I’m going to soak in some great art. And when both barrels are full, I’ll let fly with the next major project.

And yes, ladies and gents who voted, it will be A KUNG FU WESTERN! I can only hope it is as awesome as MASTER OF THE FLYING GUILLOTINE!

Huzzah,

JSR

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About ridlerville

Jason S. Ridler is a historian, writer, and improv actor. He is the author of A TRIUMPH FOR SAKURA, BLOOD AND SAWDUST, the Spar Battersea thrillers and has published over sixty stories in such magazines and anthologies as The Big Click, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Out of the Gutter, and more. He also writes the column FXXK WRITING! for Flash Fiction Online. A former punk rock musician and cemetery groundskeeper, Mr. Ridler holds a Ph.D. in War Studies from the Royal Military College of Canada. He lives in Richmond, CA. Visit him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/jason.ridler.56
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