How do you celebrate a finished project?

Several weeks ago, I sent two projects to the printer for pick up later. One project, my first novel, had taken almost two months to rewrite from start to finish. The second project was the memoir I’d been ghost writing for almost eighteen months. After work, I went to the printer to pick them up and was handed a large box of more than six hundred pages — six hundred pages that equaled countless hours of interviews, research, writing group critiquing and plain hard work at the keyboard.

I put the pages in manuscript boxes, took the boxes to the post office and mailed them to my agent. Then I went back to work.

It felt a bit anticlimactic.

I did make a post to my Facebook page, and I emailed a couple friends.  “I’m Finished!” the emails said. Aside from that, I didn’t much talk about it, didn’t celebrate it, didn’t even feel much like I’d accomplished something significant. I’d put the finishing touches on two books.  I’d sent two books to my agent. Now, all I had to do was wait to see if she could sell them.

Still, weeks later, I’m feeling a bit alarmed at my lack of reaction.

How do you feel when you’ve finished a project?  What do you do to mark that completion?

5 thoughts on “How do you celebrate a finished project?

  1. It’s important to mark those moments of accomplishment, but for many of us, they tend to be in quiet small ways. Maybe its lack of ego or wanting others to first notice or fear of things crashing in once we give way to celebration.

    I think letting go to call something completed is an act of minor courage.
    Writing well is hard work.

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    • You’re right about the “letting go” thing. There are times when it feels as if you can never stop making tweeks and changes. You say it’s important to mark the accomplishment, but HOW is the question… : ) A nice dinner? A new pair of shoes?

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  2. Sure, but some would argue the heart and soul part is even more reason to celebrate. How did you celebrate when you sent that final version of TOH to your publisher??

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  3. I think my celebration was going to bed early the next night because I could finally sleep! 🙂 Seriously, though, I guess I haven’t really celebrated yet. I’m excited but still nervous about it. I’m not sure when it starts to feel “real.”

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