It's the feeling a writer gets after the manuscript is finished, and the baby is sent off to an agent. The energy spent creating and shaping the story bounces around inside with nowhere to go. I usually spend a few days doing nothing, goofing off on social media, watching videos on Youtube, etc. until I regain my equilibrium and focus on a new story. I hate the sense of being lost, so I try to push through and move on. If I don't, the helplessness will only worsen.
No wonder writers are a neurotic bunch. We dig deep into our memories, our reactions and emotions, and create characters who are fractured shadows of our lives. The past serves as fodder for the stories. Add a vivid imagination, and beat that sucker into shape until it's ready to submit to the agents.
Both submissions of Operation Pandora have been sent, and now I wait. It's all in God's hands. What's the worst thing that could happen? They both say no, and hopefully give me something to ponder as to why.
Maybe it's because I see areas where I could have done better. Being a writer is crazy. You put a piece of yourself into your work, investing countless hours to get it right. After the last punctuation mark is made, you know it's still not good enough. Like a scab you can't stop picking, you go in and fix something. Then another part. And another. It will never end, and that's why you hear of people who spent ten years or more on a novel. They couldn't back away and let it breathe and be itself.
Every time I think of the two books I self-published, I want to kick myself. I've improved my writing in so many ways since I wrote them. In the process of creating, sometimes I lose sight of the fact that it's out there forever, even after I've developed into a better writer. The temptation to rewrite my first efforts collides with the reality that I don't have time, and editing at this point seems dishonest. These stories are part of my evolution. I'm not perfect, and never will be. I've been given a gift, and it's a better use of my time to move on to the next adventure rather than dwell in the past.
So, now that I've submitted my manuscript, what's next? I'm going back to the untitled manuscript I'd planned to self-publish if it didn't get a response from an agent. I read the first couple chapters. It needs work. Other ideas sit in a folder, waiting for the day I can bring them to life. A writer's work is never done, which is a good thing. Trapped in limbo is no fun.