Looking Up From Your Laptop and Feeling Like an Alien
Photo courtesy of Pascal.

Looking Up From Your Laptop and Feeling Like an Alien

Written by Emilie

Topics: Goals

I’m going to keep today’s post short and sweet. I’ve been writing/revising my book for the last eight hours (not counting the months leading up to the last eight hours). I just shipped it off to my top secret editors, and now my brain is a little fried.

(I actually considered just making today’s post a 20 minute video of me playing the violin, but decided against it. ;)

Today was the deadline I set for myself and I’m pleased to announce that I met it. I’ll be sharing the release date for Renaissance Business with you guys soon (Puttytribe members, keep an eye on your inbox in the upcoming weeks for previews, discounts and other goodies).

Finishing a Major Project

It’s always a weird feeling, finishing a major project. In addition to being overwhelming and fulfilling, it’s usually somewhat anticlimactic and disorienting. You look up from your laptop and aren’t quite sure what to do with yourself.

Hey look, it’s a nice day out, you notice.

So you go for a walk. But everything feels a little off. You’re kind of like one of the alien teenagers from the show Roswell. You don’t quite fit in among all the fun-loving Portlanders, who no doubt spent their weekends strolling along Hawthorne, eating at taquerias and popping in at yard sales. Not locked in a bedroom, staring at a screen.

Looking Back

I remember when I started writing this book, how difficult it was to fight off the resistance. How even a few hundred words felt like a victory. There was a mountain ahead of me and I had no idea how I’d ever get up there. I just had to keep slogging- word by word. (bird by bird).

Somewhere along the way, things changed. I magically picked up steam and hundreds of words turned into thousands, thousands into tens of thousands. At some point the resistance decided to get out of my way and let me do my work.

When it’s All Said and Done

The days following the end of a major project can involve feelings of elation and joy, but also despair. A sense of loss even– like your purpose has been taken from you.

Thankfully, I have no time to get depressed, as I have a script to write and a million other (fun) projects that require my immediate attention. Yet another benefit of being a multipotentialite.

I have a packed schedule this week. Scriptwriting, meetings, emails… But I’m happy, because my life involves constant creation and I can’t really think of anything better.

What About You?

How do you usually feel after completing a major project? Are you working on anything juicy these days?


  1. JR Tschopp says:

    Anticlimactic is definitely a good word to describe finishing a major project. I remember when I finished shooting the only feature-length film that I’ve completed just being in this weird, “Wow. It’s done” haze. No fanfare or trumpets blowing. My lead actor, who had stuck with me through it over the course of four years, just kind of looked at me like, “Now what?” It was a slightly surreal moment. I had the same feeling upon completing the first draft of my novel as well. Oddly enough, I’ve never had that feeling upon completing a screenplay, as I suppose the filmmaker in me just sees that as the first step of a larger process, no matter the size of the achievement (90+ pages of script is hard work, I don’t care who you are). But yeah, being a multipotentialite doesn’t leave me with long enough of a time to reflect, and I’m fairly quickly on to the next project. Which I’m glad for, as I’ve got a buddy that every time he finishes a project, he goes into these long, drawn out periods of “Woe is me! My life is over!” I don’t understand it, and am glad I don’t get like that.

    • Emilie says:

      Hey JR,

      Wow- a feature! That’s impressive… and I can only imagine how weird it must have been to finish. I never shot a feature-length film, but the short I shot in my last year of film school was a major endeavor. My life pretty much revolved around it for 8 months. So yeah, I hear you.

      • JR Tschopp says:

        Filmmaking is hard work, whether it’s a feature that takes four years, or a short that takes eight months. Unless you’re just taking a camera out and goofing off with friends (which I’ve done plenty of… luckily, most of my friends are actors or improv comedians), there’s a lot that goes into it, and I don’t think most people realize how tough it truly is. Every motion picture story, regardless of length, is an accomplishment worthy of celebration on the parts of the people who produced it.

  2. Juventud says:

    After years of resistance holding me back I have come to accept the fact that something is always better than nothing. I let 1 quarter of my life letting resistance holding me back i could never realize it cause my mind is smarter than me. But now I have decided to do something which i find the most daunting and the feeling is great!

  3. Ethan says:

    I usually feel nostalgic after a major project is done. If it was something I was working towards for a while, there’s almost a void left once you have all that energy freed up.

    • Emilie says:

      I hadn’t thought of it that way, but nostalgic is a good way to put it. It’s interesting too, because sometimes the actual process of creating is quite painful. But yeah, you miss it anyway. Because even during the rough patches, you’re still working on something big and important.

  4. First off congrats. Finishing a book is a lot of work. Trust me I know, I wrote THREE! But that’s neither here or there. When it comes to finishing a project, i feel pretty DAMN gooooooooooooooooooooood…if i do say so myself. I feel happy. And then I get the urge to create something else. Something even better and greater than before. I have an obsession with begin the greatest in everything i do..dont mind me, I’m far from human. None the less, I think the journey is alot more satisfying than the result. I mean how many times can you look at a finished project and feel enthused…it DONE!! So with nothing left to do, I usually give myself a large pat on the back and continue to work.

    Cheers, Emilie!

    • Emilie says:

      Yes! The journey is far more fulfilling than the destination, but you’re right, the destination can be pretty great too.

      I guess the other scary thing about finishing this book is that now that it’s written, I have to actually put it out into the world and show it to people! Eek.. (but, you know, I’m sure it’ll be fine…. :)

      Thanks for the comment, Jonathan. Nice to hear from ya!

      • Hey Emilie, this is so true. I was told a bit on insecurity is good. You can care about your work, be extremely confident in the content but your human side kicks in because you CARE for what you did so much there an inkling in your soul that is like butter flies in your tummy. It’s all good, we all had this.
        But as the wise say, ” As you sow, so shall you reap.!

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