I have friends who are in sales, and when they land a big deal, they have a closing dinner with the client. A no-expenses-spared meal at a super expensive restaurant (thanks to the company AmEx) with free flowing pricey wine and cocktails. Sounds nice, huh? Well, as a writer, I don't have a company credit card, or an entire department to give me a standing ovation. So when I finished writing my Christmas novella at two in the morning - because when you get close to the end, you just can't stop until there's a happily ever after - last weekend, all was quiet. My husband was asleep (he's forgiven, as it was past midnight). Shouting in triumph would've awakened him and the neighbors. Jumping up and down in glee was nixed because I'm on crutches. The only option available to me? I sent a Tweet into cyberspace proclaiming my joy. But I didn't stay up to see if anyone responded.
Finishing a book is odd. It isn't the same manic thrill as landing an agent, or selling your manuscript. Finishing a book is expected. A contractual obligation. At my day job, I don't expect a round of applause when I finish a presentation, or book an airline flight. Those are required duties. And for a writer, the biggest requirement is to finish the damn book.
On the other hand, while churning out the story, you've lived with these characters for a while. Sometimes weeks, sometimes months. You are emotionally invested. And if you're like me, the last 5,000 words come out in a frantic marathon. After all that, there must be some reward, some celebration.
I gave myself one day off (both as reward, and to recover from staying up so late). My big reward was to dive into the next Black Dagger Brotherhood book on my list. I read without any guilt or fear it would cut into my daily word count. The day after that, I put my hands on the keyboard and went back to book two of my trilogy, currently almost halfway to the finish line. There's no champagne, and few accolades, aside from my super supportive hubby. But it still felt like a win to me. How do you celebrate typing those two magic words, The End?