by E. A. Mourn
A Hard Goodbye to Old Friends by E. A. Mourn
A Hard Goodbye to Old Friends
I never thought this day would come, and even though I am filled with a great sense of pride and accomplishment to be done with it all, it is, oddly enough, saying goodbye that is the hardest. These people have kept me company, made me angry, brought me to tears, and have never failed to astonish me every step of the way. They are my characters; my own creation, and in just two short pages… I have to summon the courage to say farewell.
It is like a chapter of my own life is coming to an end; as if their struggles, good and bad, victorious and defeated, were my own. I know the feeling well. At first I will feel disloyal, a betrayer, unable to think of anything but the past and all those I left behind. I will not let that stop me though, and I will think of them often as I go forward in search of new friends. It is important that I try my best to block them out of my thoughts, because now is the time for something new and fresh to be born, not a tired re-creation of another world. Hopefully as I age, and the story with me, the need for another visit there will present itself in the correct manner, as a sequel, but only time and a new perspective will tell.
After a while, my longing for the world I created and those who reside within it will fade and a new story will blossom, filling me with a new sense of purpose as I come to know my new and (hopefully) intriguing friends. Soon, I will begin to wonder, just as a mother does just after the birth of her child, how I ever did without them before. I will laugh at their wit, cry at their heartbreak, and shudder with the terrors that descend upon them. Then as I face the last fifty pages, the sadness at saying goodbye will return in full force, just as it had before. I will once again start to doubt my abilities to find new friends, new places, and fresh adventures.
I believe this is a very common emotion for the fiction writer; the fear that somehow the well of imagination will run dry. The manuscript you are leaving might be your last. Perhaps that is the core of the sadness, an angst that the cycle will not repeat, that the dreaded goodbyes are not necessarily inevitable. After all, the act of creation is not only a great power, but is also addictive with enough practice.