That Feeling You Get When You Finish a Writing Project

by Joe Bunting | 32 comments

It feels something like this.

Finish writing project

I just finished a very important writing project, a proposal for a new book I'm ghostwriting. It was a tough project, one that took a month longer than expected, and included a journey around the world, dozens of hours of research, a few exhausting back-and-forths with my client, not to mention many long days huddling over the keyboard, trying to make the words come out right.

Yesterday, I read through my finished proposal and then sent it off to my agent.

Man, it feels so good.

Remember This Feeling During the Writing Process

How do you feel when you finish a writing project? Spend a moment thinking about that feeling:

  • the sense of accomplishment
  • the feeling of relief
  • the realization that you've put something valuable out into the world
  • the anticipation to hear what your readers think

Every time the writing gets tough, think of how good it will feel to finish.

When you're hit with writer's block, think of that sense of accomplishment you'll feel when you finally write, “The End.”

When you just want to sleep in and can't motivate yourself to get up and write, try to remember how good you'll feel at the end of the process.

Celebrate Your Writing Victories

Writing is hard work. As you probably already know, there will be times when you want to quit and give up. There will also be times when you share your writing with the world and people don't like it, or worse, ignore you altogether.

However, the fact that writing is such hard work is the very reason we need to celebrate our writing victories. If you have seen your writing project through to the end, you've accomplished something important, something many people wish they could do but haven't.

Take it in. Revel in it. Breathe in deep and celebrate the fact that you've finished.

And Then Start Your Next Writing Project

One of the most vulnerable times for writers is just after they've finished their last writing project. It's so easy to rest on your laurels, to let laziness creep into your habit.

Instead, get started writing your next project today. Don't let yourself get stagnate. Start working on the next story, blog post, or book.

As good as it feels to finish, the best feeling of all is to be writing something new.

How about you? How do you feel when you finish a writing project?

PRACTICE

Write a scene about a writer who has just finished his or her latest book. How does he or she celebrate?

Write for fifteen minutes. When you're finished, post your practice in the comments section. And if you post, please be sure to give feedback to your fellow writers and leave them a comment in the comments section.

Happy writing!

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Joe Bunting is an author and the leader of The Write Practice community. He is also the author of the new book Crowdsourcing Paris, a real life adventure story set in France. It was a #1 New Release on Amazon. Follow him on Instagram (@jhbunting).

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32 Comments

  1. PJ Reece

    Whenever I finish a longstanding project I usually fall down. And weep. With joy. And then get sick. Because life has no more meaning. And because I’ve been holding all bad vibes at bay through force of will power and meditation and little homeopathic pills which I have to tell you work like a damn. And now I discover that the government is banning them because they work so well. So I will have to find another way to get back on my feet fast. I think I`ll backpack around Europe. Without a cell phone or a computer. In any event, I`m envious of your ‘finish’, Joe. Congrats. I long to write “The End” to my current job. I better stock up on those little pills.

    Reply
  2. Chloee

    I pressed the “save” button and sat back. A wave of relief and utter disappointment fell though me. The relief and victory was so fresh from knowing that little ole’ me finished entire novel and then the disappointment from knowing I would never be able to write that novel again. The adventures of the novel characters ended and I could no longer torture them or back them into an alley or make them face their fears in bone chilling words. Of course I had fun writing it but the empty hollow feeling didn’t go away. “Oh well time to start another one I suppose.” I started to type.

    Reply
    • Vikki

      I like how this put into word the emptiness of finishing a story. Such a great sense of accomplishment, but really, the people that you know most intimately, your characters, will never be that close to you again

    • Adan Ramie

      This is exactly how I feel sometimes when I finish a particularly long work, Chloee. Great piece.

  3. EndlessExposition

    For my current WIP, I tried something a little different: I started out by writing the first chapter and the epilogue, and now I’m going back to fill in the rest. My epilogue happens to fit this prompt, and I can always use feedback, so let me know what you think!

    Epilogue

    Claudia Wise was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Alicia and I followed the story in the papers, and with a little help from Lucille. Neither of us were ever officially connected with the case; Chief Greenwald knew it was us behind everything, but he couldn’t prove it. And Claudia sure wasn’t talking.

    So that’s the end. I wrote some of this down right after it happened, and the rest of the work has been fleshing it out and adding details and making it an actual book. I tried to make this sound the same way it would’ve if I wrote it when I was fourteen: it was depressingly easy. Thanks for reading all the way to the end – I’m pretty sure that no other story will ever matter to me as much as this one. This was the start of my life as a detective, and more importantly the start of my life with Alicia. We couldn’t be one without the other: partners in crime solving, and partners in everything else.

    Speaking of Alicia, she should be home any minute now. I took the day off of work to
    finish the manuscript – told them I have the flu. Ah ha, there’s the door. “’licia!”

    She’s coming in the living room, shrugging off her jacket. “Evening.”

    “How’re things down at the station?”

    “Uneventful. Shoplifter on Main Street, Bennett handled it.”

    “I finished the manuscript!”

    She grins. “I take it that means I have some reading to do?”

    “Yup! Just finishing the epilogue.”

    She’s standing at my shoulder. “Are you writing down what I’m doing?”

    “Uh huh.” I can see her in the laptop monitor: working off her cufflinks, one eyebrow raised so high it’s about to disappear under her hair.

    She shakes her head. “I won’t even ask.”

    “You’ll see. I put coffee on, it should be ready.”

    “You really are in a good mood,” she calls over her shoulder as she heads for the kitchen. I should probably warn her about the – “Alex!”

    Too late. “Yeah?”

    “Would you care to tell me why there is a vial of blood in my coffee mug?”

    “There wasn’t room in the freezer, and the last time I put blood in the fridge you yelled at me.”

    “Would it trouble you terribly, Dr. MacBride, to contain your research to the mortuary?”

    “Mm, afraid so Detective Cameron.”

    The kitchen emits a long suffering sigh. “You’re lucky I like you.”

    “Luck has nothing to do with it.”

    Alicia comes in, coffee in hand. “Unfortunately you’re right. Done with the epilogue yet?”

    “Almost. Trying to find a good place to end it.”

    “Say that all of a sudden we get an urgent call to go solve a murder and we dash out the door. That’s suitably dramatic.”

    I drum my fingers on the desk. “It doesn’t need to be dramatic, just needs to tie everything up.”

    “Well in that case, I’ll make the decision for you. Let’s go out to dinner.”

    “Wha – Alicia, I’m still writing!”

    She’s grinning again. “Not anymore I’m afraid. We’re going to the diner.”

    “And this wraps everything up how?”

    “Quite simply,” she says as she puts down the coffee and rolls up her shirtsleeves. “You’ve just finished your very first novel, we are going out to celebrate, and then tomorrow with any luck there will be murder awaiting us. How does that sound?”

    “Fucking awesome.”

    She stretches out her hand. “What are we waiting for?”

    “Just a sec, I gotta hit Ctrl+S.”

    Reply
    • Sidney G Fox

      I think that’s a great ending, joy shared and anticipation of another murder, and the dialogue’s so smooth – shows rapport and fondness very strongly.
      There was one sentence that made me pause and go back to work it out ‘Alicia and I followed the story in the papers, and with a little help from Lucille.’ but I guess if I’d read the story up to the end it would have clicked more easily..

      Nice work and good idea to write the ending so soon, I might try the same 🙂

    • EndlessExposition

      Thanks so much for the input 🙂

  4. AnnM

    “Angela wasn’t sure if this was her true love; only time would tell… For now she knew all was well with the world and that was enough for now”. The End.

    Lucy sat there for a minute drinking in the moment. Was she finally finished her book? All the stressing and worrying if the characters would look as good on paper as they were in her head. They did, they really did! Angela had been in her mind for so long she was like a close friend, no a sister. They had shared this adventure together with all the ups and downs and edits and rewrites but this was the one, she could feel it.

    Elation, that was it. Like when she’d finished her first 10k. Adrenalin still coursed through her veins and Lucy wanted to get up and dance or run around or something… She wasn’t sure really but she had to share this moment with someone. She picked up the phone and dialled the number, she could do it in her sleep she’d phoned jack so many times.

    It rang twice before a voice said, “jack Morgan speaking”.
    Lucy hesitated then said simply, “I’m done”.

    She had the biggest smile on her face as she said that out loud for the first time.
    “Lucy?” Was the reply. She couldn’t speak now as the emotions came. Silly really to want to cry when you feel so happy, why does a person do that?

    Finally she was able to find her voice, “yes it’s me and I finished the book. I’m sure this time and I know you will be too, I just feel it. You were right about the end it did need to be fixed and I did it”, she almost shouted the last few words. It was a victory cry!

    “That’s wonderful Lucy, let’s go celebrate, my treat!” Jack sounded almost as happy as she was, perhaps because he wouldn’t have to babysit a neurotic creative writer anymore. She smiled at the thought if that. “I’ll pick you up at 8 ok?!” She spoke a quick ‘ok’ and he hung up, probably going to phone for a reservation someplace fancy.

    Lucy took a deep breath in and out – finished… It was actually hard to believe but true. Now what? No don’t think of that yet, the possibility that no one would read her precious creation or perhaps they would hate it, or think it’s just plain stupid. No today was all about feeling light and free and just, well, all around amazing.

    8pm was a few hours off so Lucy decided to go for a long walk in the park and just let it all marinate.

    Reply
  5. Dawn Atkin

    T h e E n d

    File save.

    Ctrl Home.

    Scroll down.
    Scroll up.

    Click View.
    Click 4 pages.

    Scroll
    Scroll
    Scroll

    Ctrl Home

    Breath. Smile. Push back from the desk. Breath. Purse lips. Hands loosely clasped on lap.

    Smile widens. Look to the ceiling. Whispers “Thank you.”

    Bird taps on the window sill.

    Trees shuffle in tail of breeze.

    Breath. Whispers ” Wow, I can’t believe it.”

    File save.
    File save.
    File save.
    Close.
    Shut down.

    Breath. One tear. Whispers “I did it.” Punch imaginary goal. Draw big thick tick in clear thin air.

    Thinks “I better go check my kids.”

    Young voice arrives “Mumma what’s for dinner?”
    “Anything you want my darling. Ice-cream?”
    Young voice yells “Yey.” Runs down the hallway.

    Thinks “We all deserve a nice ice-cream.”

    T h e E n d

    Reply
    • Martin F.

      Wow, great! You could turn it into a song.

    • Dawn Atkin

      Thanks Martin.
      Sometimes I just like to play with other ways of writing rather than the straightforward full-text approach.
      Cheers Dawn

    • Teo Jansen

      Beautiful way to celebrate it 🙂 I loved the twist when the kid arrive. Great note!

    • Sidney G Fox

      Beautiful writing 🙂 I feel inspired!

    • Joy

      Absolutely fantastic!

  6. Dawn Atkin

    Hey Joe, good luck with the proposal.
    Regards Dawn

    Reply
  7. CarolynL

    It was done. These past few days I’ve been anticipating it. Yesterday night, I knew with certainty how it will end; I think I knew for a long time. The lines I would say, no, the lines that were always there, but only needed to be written, reverberated throughout my mind. Even when I ate lunch with my sister, I would daydream of it happening, and now, it was truly on page, on screen, just simply done. All those months I’ve spent writing this and all those years I’ve spent dreaming of it flashed memories and pictures in my mind. My hands began to tremble. A short, brisk laugh came out of me. Was this real? I felt two realms were crashing down on me. The realm of what I dreamed and the realm of reality. It was written. The story I’ve been waking up every morning for. The story I’ve been crafting and editing for months. The story I never would have thought would come this far.

    A burst of gladness surged within me. I was happy. I felt great. This was a gradual journey, but for some reason the emotions came suddenly. Day by day, I was by the screen progressively typing, pausing, thinking, and typing again. Words after words, paragraphs after paragraphs, chapters after chapters. I cried. I never knew there were tears waiting for me for this moment. And finally, the world can see it. Whether they like it or not, it doesn’t matter. I did it.

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Good work. The process in a nut-shell. Emotional roller coaster – something we all have in common.
      Thanks for sharing
      Dawn 🙂

    • CarolynL

      Thanks for the comment!:)

  8. Martin F.

    I’m a swiss writer, who’s native language is swiss german. I post my practice in english anyway, even if it’s quite simple. Enjoy!

    It’s been a while, since I typed »The End«. I was quite excited and exhausted at the same time. So many hours of writing, formulating, deleting, rearranging, loughing and crying were laying behind me. I leaned back and stretched my arms, yawned and rubbed my eyes.

    I went to the living room and got myself a whiskey on the rocks, sat in my TV chair and stared blank at the ceiling.

    What next? I just had enough from my story. I loved the last quarter, but there was that huge part in the middle, which I’d rather shoot to the moon. Suddenly I hated my novel and worried, if anybody at all would want to read it. Actually I was afraid of the negativ reactions. I knew, I was a beginner and it was my first creation. So, what? It wouldn’t have to please anybody than me.

    I reflected, what I would do better on my next project. Yes, I certainly wanted to write a follow up of this story. All of the sudden I saw a beginning, fragments of the plot, the love and the frustration of my protagonists, which were to me like brothers and sisters.

    Much time went by. I overhauled the novel serveral times. When I read it for the 6th time, it felt so much like coming home. All the places, the people, the dialogues I was so familiar with. It was a heart touching experience.

    Meanwhile I was tossed about writing a sequel or a completely new project in a different genre.

    And yes, I hate to get started with the process of plotting, because that’s one of the hardest parts.

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Oh I can so identify with the joy, the doubt, the scurrying forward to the next project, the fear, the small whiskey in an armchair private celebration. The peaks and lows are clearly demonstrated in this writing/sharing Martin. Such is the writers life.
      I write, like, doubt, like again, doubt again, don’t share, then start on the next project.
      My new goal is to submit things all over the place. Give it a shot.
      Thanks for sharing.
      Kind regards
      Dawn Atkin

    • Teo Jansen

      I laughed with the negative feelings. I have the same every time I finish something, it is like: “This is amazing!” and then “No, this is not”. Thanks for sharing!

    • Adan Ramie

      Oh, the plight of the writer! First, it’s all sunshine and butterflies. Then, somewhere along the line, whether it’s the middle, the end, or a day after publication, you get that nagging feeling that your story was terrible, that you have no talent, that you should have just stuck with your day job… Great job capturing that feeling!

  9. Teo Jansen

    “Hello, mr. Scott”

    “Hi, Sophie, I want wine tonight”, says an old man to the young waitress of a small lonley restaurant.

    “Oh! Happy Birthday, mr. Scott, how fast the time goes by”, replies the waitress. “Anything else?”

    “It is not my birthday. I just finish another book”, mr. Scott takes a deep breath.

    Sophie looks at him for a second and sits in front of him.

    “Another book! It is incredible, right?”.

    “Not that much when you know the money is little and the effort is big”, replies bitterly the old man, looking to the menu, even if he didn’t plan to eat anything. “Are other clients waiting for you?”.

    “Look around”, the restaurant is empty. “You are the most interesting customer in the restaurant right now. But, please, tell me more. It is not exciting to finish a book?”

    The old man barely smile.

    “Well, yeah… but…”

    “I’m a writier too. Well, nothing publish yet, like you and your 20 books, but I hope to finish my first romantic novel… soon”, says enthusiastic the waitress.

    “Oh, that’s… that’s interesting”

    “Well… yeah… meanwhile, I’m stuck in this place”, says the waitress as she stands up in direction to the kitchen.

    “Sophie”, the waitress stops. “Bring me two glasses of wine. We should celebrate this together… and a cheesecake”.

    The waitress winks to Mr. Scott, who now smiles fully again. Thanks to Sophie, he remembered the spirit of this profession and how lucky he is to be a full time writer.

    Reply
    • Dawn Atkin

      Thanks to Sophie.
      Teo I really like how this story demonstrates the professional writers bitterness for his low paid hard work and then his transformation as he remembers how lucky he is to be a full-time writer. Thanks to the acknowledgment of an emerging writer – Sophie.
      Regards Dawn

    • Teo Jansen

      Dawn, I’m gladd you enjoyed this little story, about a writer who forgot how hard is to finish a project! Thanks for the comment! Cheers!

    • Sidney G Fox

      What a lovely story, I agree with Dawn about the transformation of the writer’s feelings, and I love that you describe the restaurant as ‘lonely’.

    • Teo Jansen

      I’m gladd you like it, Sidney! Thanks for sharing your thoughts about it. Cheers!

  10. Teo Jansen

    Joe, congratulations for finishing this important project. I wish you the best. And thanks for the picture. It really says it all! Cheers!

    Reply
  11. Vivia

    Dot

    The End

    The End, dot

    The End.

    Christ it was hard enough to start, how difficult can it be to complete the task. Less is more they say in art schools, know when to stop painting. Surely it must be easier for writers, just stop. Don’t agonise over those last few words, its the end, taken forever to get to – celebrate.

    First stand up and stretch. No really stretch. Those hunched shoulders, stiff hips, line in your thighs from choosing shorts – what were you thinking. Then cut your nails, you know how many typos were just because you’ve let your nails get to long? Now squish that ruddy bluebottle, its been buzzing round you for hours, distracting you, stealing your thoughts. Ow, that hurt, not a bluebottle then – you should have looked at it first you fool, wasps sting.

    Now your lips are tingling, swelling and your whole arm is heavy, heavier than all those words that weighed you down. Your fingers are stiff, ridiculing your efforts to write this, fat fringles, barelyu baalge to findl the keybrosd.

    Concentrate. You need ton call fro hl[p.

    HELPp!

    Reply
    • Adan Ramie

      I like it!

  12. Adan Ramie

    BURNING PASSION
    By Adan Ramie

    Nelda mashed a button on her keyboard with a flourish, then shoved back from her desk as fresh pages started spewing out of the printer on her right.

    “All right, old bird, you did it again,” she said aloud, and her grey-haired terrier perked up his ears from the window seat nearby. Her eyes alighted on him, and she wheeled her desk chair across the polished wood floors toward him. “Mama’s going on a vacation, Lumpkin. And you get to go back to Paws Bluff to see your vacation friends. Won’t that be exciting,” she said, scratching him between the ears. He dropped his eyelids and let out a sigh. “Oh, don’t be a party pooper.”

    She pushed against the wood floor and went skidding across the sleek surface, knocking into her heavy island counter with a loud belly laugh. “Damn, almost went over on that one, Lumpy.” She patted her rotund middle. “I guess this book has gotten to me. I could use to drop a few pounds.” Mixing sweet, chocolate liquid into hot coffee, she chuckled. “I’ll start my diet after this vacation.”

    She wheeled back to her desk and put her mug onto the wicker coaster, then flung herself over to the printer. The manuscript waited in the tray. She snorted the smell of warm paper, the hint of chemical odor from the ink making her nostrils quiver with anticipation. One hand slid over the last page, tracing over the last words: THE END. Her belly shook with laughter as she picked up the pages, thick in her meaty fist, and held them in front of her like a champagne flute, ready for a toast. Her other hand went to her pocket.

    With her foot, she slid the trash can from under the table out in front of her, flicked her Zippo, and set the pages aflame. She held it for a moment, tenderly watching as the pages darkened and curled, and the flames crawled up, singing her fingertips. When the heat was too much to bear, she dropped the burning manuscript into the can and watched as three months of painstaking research, editing, and revision turned to ashes.

    “This is probably my best work yet,” Nelda said. Lumpkin let out another sigh.

    Reply
  13. Victoria James

    Well, it’s been a long while since I’ve been around here on the Write Practice, but this post is perfect timing as today I finished the first draft of my first novel. I am just revelling in it! I know there’s still a lot of work to go once my beta readers have had a go at it, but just to know that it’s all THERE is such a good feeling!!!

    Reply

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