With the release on April 15 of my latest book, Triple Burn, I know well the giddiness and sense of accomplishment that accompanies "The End" on a book manuscript. It never grows old.
There's a momentary lapse when the author heaves a big sigh and says, "It's finished." But it isn't really finished, and the savvy author knows that. Editing and revision and formatting have yet to come.
Many people get the same heady sense of relief and accomplishment when completing a project, whether it's related to writing or not. For instance, a carpenter can stand back and admire the beauty of the chest of drawers he finished. An electrician can flip a switch and feel satisfaction that everything hooked up operates as it should. A gardener harvests the fruits and vegetables of his labors.
"The End" is only just the beginning, whether that beginning is another phase of the project or another project entirely.
Sometimes, "The End" means the severance of a relationship. The tension and anxiety leading up to that severance cause lost sleep, indigestion, worry, and other problems. I've been going through that lately with a client. There's fault to be found on both sides, but the problem remains that I find it increasingly difficult to work for this client. Whether I finished the project or terminate the contract, I will feel relief once I can affix "The End" to it.
"The End" also pertains to the feeling that things are crashing down about one's ears and the subsequent crush and humiliation of failure will force me into doing what I absolutely, positively do not want to do or force me to quit doing what I love to do and what I believe excel at doing. "The End" doesn't necessarily translate to "happily ever after," but might be the harbinger of personal tragedy.
"The End." Those two small words convey enormous meaning and emotion.