So, I'm curious if anyone has a ritual or reward they give themselves after writing -The End-.
A glass of wine, some time away, dinner at a nice restaurant?
Me, I get five minutes. There's a song I listen to. This song is so awesome that it temporarily rewrites my DNA into that of a higher being. I wait until I'm alone in the house. (Difficult nowadays, but still.) I don my noise-cancelling headphones. I shut my eyes, and I listen. When the first notes come on I get goosebumps. (Because I listen so infrequently, it keeps the song new.) By the end of the song I am transformed.
I allow myself a few moments of that completely self-satisfied glow of accomplishment. It's kind of a form of meditation, really, where I am just conscious of the EMPTINESS of having the story out of me and onto the paper (or computer).
Then.... it's back to doing the dishes I fell behind on and washing the floor, doing the laundry...and while I do those things, the idea for the next story starts to rattle around in my brain.
I've got some vintage Mountain Dew, glass deposit bottles, that I promised I'd open and drink one when I sold something...they're about twenty-five years ago, and I'm wondering if I should risk it when it happens...
That's an interesting thought. Seems like I should have a ritual. I very much think ritual is important...my family keeps a family chronicle so that we can look back on milestones both good and bad.
I don't really have one for writing though...other than to savor what I think was my best work ever (it usually is, but I don't think about all the stuff I'll be fixing later).
I don't usually have a ritual. The one thing I usually do is to let my brain take a couple of days off from writing - if it wants to. Sometimes I need to stop in-between to change gears.
Sometimes I'm a little sad when I finish a story, like when I finish a good book. I regret having to say goodbye to the characters that I've been so involved with. And sometimes I just have a moment of 'what now?', until I realize all of the other things I should be doing.
I drink a Founders Kentucky Breakfast Stout. They're insanely hard to find if you don't live in Michigan or Ohio, and it is by far the greatest beer on Earth. Also, 11% ABV. So it's a good night.
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In the past, I often felt something akin to sorrow when I finished a story. After all, something I've been working on for a long time is now over. It's like an old companion suddenly deciding to go his own way.
I think I've gotten much less emotional with the years so now I'm just glad it's done and start working on the new one piece.
In my opinion, the real reward would be getting published and getting paid. I will probably react differently once I achieve that.
[This message has been edited by MartinV (edited July 17, 2011).]
In the last two years I've completed a novel, two flash pieces, three short stories, and one novella (just last week).
I do feel a momentary sense of accomplishment, but then start the revision. After I've done a few rewrites and think I have it finalized, I'll share the story with a few people who find tons of stuff I've missed and I do more rewrites and then think I'm done. But if I go back a few weeks or months later, I'll find more to fine tune. Finally I just cringe at returning to it.
I guess the most common feeling I get after finishing a piece is the desire to write something new.
I don't have a defined ritual for when I've completed a story (although, I very much like the idea); I tend to celebrate in whatever way is convenient at that time. I've treated myself to a mind-numbing special effects action flick in an actual theater. I've treated myself to a Saturday night of grass roots stock car racing at the local track...without the kids. I've even done nothing more than get myself a Jones green apple soda and whatever candy bar I have a taste for at that time, and plop myself right back down in my studio chair to write some more.
As long as there is some sort of celebratory acknowledgment involved, all is cool with me.
But, I'm definitely going to consider creating some sort of a ritual.
I don't think I've done anything. Felt relief and had a sense of accomplishment but at the same time I wasn't done. There is still the revisions to do. After those are done and it's all the way ready to send out I again feel a sense of accomplishment with some hope added to it. But I don't do anything.
Some type of mini ritual would be nice. Jump up and down and shout for thirty seconds--- no, no, no.
My song is Better Than You by the trance group Aura.
Deoxyribonucleic acid modifying tune. Noise-cancelling headphones, volume up or forget it.
But hey, that's what does it for me. Hopefully everyone can find their own thing. And no, editing doesn't count. We need to reward ourselves, people. Every complete story is a personal accomplishment, regardless of what others say/do/think. Besides, since we don't have contracts or deadlines, we might need that extra kick of motivation. Granted, mine works better for shorter stories as opposed to novels, but there's always something at the end that is 100% mine.
The song has changed, but the method hasn't. I first invented this little reward system when I was a teenager. Then I kind of forgot to write during my twenties. Oops.
Lord knows what I'll do if I ever actually sell a story.
[This message has been edited by axeminister (edited July 18, 2011).]
When I finish a first draft, I smile, sit back and bask in the glow of accomplishment.
Sometimes I'll let myself have the guilty pleasure of a video game. When I heard about my HM (my first bit of validation) my friends at work took me out to lunch.
The one thing I never do is jump into the revision. Since I use the rolling draft method, I usually catch most of the small mistakes before anyone else looks at it.
Then I send the story off to critique and don't touch it for at least a week and usually more then that. I think it is important to get some objectivity from your story before you receive your crits and more importantly before you self-crit the story so you can see its flaws more clearly.
I'm still waiting on that first sale, and then I'll break out the non-alcoholic champagne.