An interesting part of the writing equation. One I hadn’t expected.

The rise of neediness.

Perhaps it was always like this. Perhaps it is like this for everyone. But the closer I get to the end of the book, the more needy I become; the deeper the feeling gets.

The characters live. They are walking, talking, thinking, acting on their own. This is a very, very different place from the one in which they walked arm-in-arm with me everywhere. The place where they tugged at my sleeve, begging for attention. They were inside me, outside me, all around me. I was more than myself and bigger than myself. Now they are stepping away from me. They don’t seem to need me any more.

Does this sound like empty nest syndrome? Sorta does, doesn’t it? I hear the melancholy echoes in the empty house. I have to go out in search of the characters that once followed me. I want to tell them, “Keep listening to me; I know what’s going to happen to you.”  But they only smile. They know better. I’ve equipped them with everything they need to live on their own. And now they do.

Every step the book takes away from me is a space that demands to be filled up with something else. With “read me” or “talk to me” or “react to me” or “what do you think”? I have taken that step into empty air. That place where once again I am smaller than myself, not bigger.

Do other writers–or other creatives–feel this separation anxiety? I’d like to think that I’m not alone in this icky place.  But that’s the thing about alone: It’s a place that’s got room only for one.

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