Sunday, September 11, 2011


Finishing a project can inspire many feelings: relief, joy, satisfaction, accomplishment. Nervousness about how it will be received, or pride in reaching a goal.

It can also bring about an "empty-nest" feeling, a sense of being lost. When characters occupy one's head for weeks or months or years, it can be startling when, instead of cavorting across the mind's stage, they sit in the wings picking at their fingernails. "Our story has been told," they tell the author. "We're resting now. Go away."

That cup must be emptied in order to be refilled, to make room for a new story. One can fear that temporary emptiness, or embrace it. It's like a rest in music, or white space on a page: blankness with a purpose.


  1. For this very reason, I had a hard time finishing my last story.

    Enjoy the white space, Jenn.

  2. It looks like you've finished another project. Congratulations!

    Having our characters speak to us is one of the things I marvel the most about writing. Yes, even if they're telling me, "Leave me alone. I don't want to talk to you right now."

  3. "Blankness with a purpose"--Perfect words to sum up that after the project is done feeling. Beautiful.

  4. Angelina, Mieke, Cynthia: Thank you! As you can see, my blank space was blanker than usual this week as I was away, but it was so nice to return to find your comments.