In the aftermath of the completion of my first novel (working title being Adelbert Vo, Soul Surgeon), I am quite surprised at my array of feelings.
The actual completion of it, the realization that I was at the final chapters and I could see that light at the end of the tunnel, that there were no more nuances to work through, was one of the greatest moments of my life.
But, after I was done, after I had slept fifteen hours, it very much felt like, “Well, back to work”.
I wanted to throw myself into Steam Saint, my steampunk Don Quixote novel, immediately.
Maya Angelou was right when she said there’s no worse pain than an untold story. It was as if a tether pulling me back into the darkness was cut.
But I’m on Cloud Nine most of the time. I’m elated most moments of most days. It’s hard to get much greater than that.
I felt the same way when I discovered that my first short story, Silent Saint, was published in the Rifter #49. I was happy for a few moments, then back to work.
So, what’s the point of creating, then, if I do not feel joy that makes me leap into the sky?
After I finished Soul Surgeon, I felt like a different man.
I felt humbler. I felt kinder. I felt better able to see the dynamics of people and more able to empathize with uncertainty.
That’s because, in a real sense, completing Soul Surgeon got me to the point where I could absorb Adelbert into me. I had worked through that character and why they exist in my heart.
Every one of you that has an unfinished short story, a novel idea, a game idea… Do your best to try to see it come to fruition.
Even if Soul Surgeon is never published, I will be a better practitioner of compassion and care because I finished it. And now, anyone who wants to understand me and why I fight for the things I do has 88,000 words to explain why.
So even if I’m not feeling some new threshold of happiness, I have been improved indelibly because of my art.