Post Project Blues


When I decided I wanted to be a writer I expected it might be emotionally taxing.  I was harnessing my war trauma and channeling it into military science fiction novels, hoping I could excise my demons while writing solid fiction.  I mean, hey, I spent 4 years in Navy JROTC, another 4 years at a state military college and 8 ½ years enlisted in the infantry.  Why not work with what I know, write militaria?  Of course, there would be risks, pitfalls, as it forced me to confront my demons.  What I didn’t expect, something they didn’t tell me about, was what happened AFTER I finish any given project.  Even if I was just a normal writer, I would expect to get frustrated when I got stuck.  I would expect to be happy when I finish a project, but I would NEVER expect I would be SAD!  Since I finished my second novel and the short story, I have been making busy work while I waited on my editors to get back with me.  In that time, without my world to visit every day, I got a bit blue.  I didn’t realize just how much I’d come to count on my fictional friends to help me cope.  Maybe I should mention all of this to my shrink, rather than my blog family, but shrinks have the tendency to give pills and white “I love me” jackets (aka straight jacket)!  What are your thoughts, dear readers?  Do you get down when you are in the situation of between projects?


JR Handley


PS:  Be kind, my editing staff have all taken for the hills….. it’s just me, my kbar and these lovely MREs.

17 thoughts on “Post Project Blues

  1. My soul goes into every thing I create. So to work on something, most certainly something lengthy, when it is over, you will feel sad. It is almost like you lost good friends because you came to know those in your stories so well.

    They are always with you, but it is like living a life in another world, you meet friends and they feel as real to you as the ones in this world do. I don’t know if I’m coming across clearly (I’m exhausted) but yes, I miss characters too.

    Still, they will always live with you. ^_^

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Quintessential Editor

    I’m with you on this from a few different fronts.

    I also write what I know. Obviously I haven’t experienced the nuclear apocalypse, but as a fellow veteran with eight years served, I pull from my experience to make aspects of the story far more realistic (I hope so at least).

    Like you, I also am dreading the end of my book. It makes it worse that the book is 1st person narrative. My protagonist, Drake, is writing this book – I’m just the puppet pounding the keys. I worry that when we part ways, a piece of him will play around in my head and drive me mad.

    I’m praying these daily blog posts and the host of other projects keeps him from meddling too much.

    Hopefully as you move into a new book, and those editors come back with a boatload of re-writes, your mind will latch onto the work and wander less. Good luck!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Luckily my story is a series AND I am setting up my next series as well. For me, the writing is like a valve to vent the horrors I saw as a grunt…. War is hell, and coming home to modernity afterwards stinks. Much like a shark, keeping the story going is how I stay alive.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel this so much. The only thing I know how to do is to keep on with the next project. Luckily, most everything I have sits in a drawer collecting dust, ready for the revision work… speaking of kbars, I’m pretty sure I got a story that could use some hacking down.


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