#ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.
This last week was very good for me. In short, I finished the rough draft of one book and completed the messy edits on another. It puts me at a really good place to tackle things this week. But I’m also kind of sad.
There’s something about the sense of accomplishment that finishing something gives you. It’s special. It can either envigerate you, leave you feeling bereft or a number of other emotions. Today, I am sad. It’s not a bad feeling, but I already miss working on those projects. It’s funny because I spent so much time grumbling about how great it would be when they were finished, and now all I want to do is revisit those characters, their stories and conflicts.
This condundrum isn’t just about being an author. Oh no. It extends to other areas of our life!
I remember a project in college that made up about 60% of our grade. It was a team project that involved researching a major world religion. My group had Hari Krishna and as part of our project, we went to visit the local temple and received permission to interview and record some of the staff, or holy men. I’m not certain on what they would be called, but they were all very nice, well spoken, articulate and enthusiastic about our project.
It fell to me, as the media major, to do all of the taping and editing of our video. I took about seven hours of footage throughout the day. Lucky us, the day we chose to visit was the day a guru from India dropped in and sparked a big festival. The video had to be around 15 minutes and we had 90 minutes to present our project. I think I easily spent 20 hours editing and finishing up the project. I cursed every minute, every title I had to key in so that people could read what was being said in the video, because at times it wasn’t easy to hear what was being said.
I’ll never forget the sense of community that project gave my group or the sense of pride I got watching that video on the screen. It was fantastic. And when it was over I wanted to do it all over again. I missed those late nights with the rest of the group crammed into the editing suite and working on their parts of the presentation while I edited. I missed dictating my part of the project to someone else while I did the final crunch time editing.
But sometimes closing the door on something comes with nothing more than a sense of moving on. Not all finales are positive experiences. Being fired from a job or breaking up with someone, for example. It’s a finale of sorts, and you don’t always get the happily ever after part.
And now, because it’s been on repeat in my head all week, here’s a song about finishing a relationship in a bad way.
How do you feel about finishing things?