How it Feels to Finish a Book

About a month ago, I wrote a post (The Mindset of a Storyteller) about my client  Lauri Taylor author of the forthcoming memoir, Killer Guilt: A Daughter’s Obsession With Solving Her Mother’s Murder. I spoke about the process of  becoming a storyteller and how it takes time, patience, courage, a tough skin and an open heart. Today, I want to share with you a little more of Lauri’s story, and what it feels like to finish your book.
 
I have long maintained that one of the very best days in the life of a book is the day you finish it. You can’t control how the world will respond to your book – whether it will sell, or get reviewed, or become a word-of-mouth-hit, or make a single dime – but you can control the work itself. You can decide to start, you can do everything in your power to write the best book you can, and you can commit to finish. Those things are wholly in your power and the satisfaction they deliver is very real. It’s a different satisfaction than when you hold your book in your hands or see it on a bookshelf or glimpse it in the hands of a reader. It’s more private, obviously, and it’s deep.
 
I have had the honor and privilege of working with Lauri all the way through her book development process, and I got to be there as she crossed the finish line, too –an intense five day-and-night sprint. On Tuesday, at 8:28pm, a year and a half after she started, Lauri finished her book and turned it into her publisher.
 
Before she cracked open the champagne, I asked her to take a moment to write down how she felt, because I knew she would want to capture that moment. She graciously agreed to let me share her thoughts:
 
 
May 6, 2014, 11 
How it Feels to be Done

 
Pride: Because I finished and because I started
 
Excitement: For the next half of this journey. I wrote this book -- a very personal story -- in the hopes of helping others and that is the work I am excited about doing next
 
Grateful: For all the people who believed in me, in my story and in my ability to write it
 
Relief:  That the work is done…or the bulk of the work is done
 
Sadness:  That this part of the journey is over. I always like to be working towards something
 
Fear:  About what my publisher, my family and anyone who happens to read my book will think of my writing
 

It's interesting to see that it wasn't all unmitigated joy for Lauri. Being a writer is a complex thing. Creating something, where before there was nothing, is a long and difficult process. But that day when you finish is a very good day, indeed. I'm hoping you are working your way towards that day.