As an author the words, "The End" have a profound significance. I spend hours upon hours trying to get to that part of the story. And then, I need to be happy about the journey. I need you, the reader, to be just as happy on the journey as I was if not more. I don't just write for me, I write for you.
I have written countless articles and pieces of the non-fiction variety and am now even publishing some of those as well, but when I reach the end of those there doesn't seem to be as much stress involved. I really enjoy writing non-fiction, probably in part because of the lack of stress, but I am a knowledge junkie. Non-fiction is all about research and regurgitating information in a pleasing format. And if you can add in some of your own personal experience or wisdom on the issue, all the better. But it doesn't bother me if someone doesn't rave over my non-fiction work.
But I just completed my second fiction that I am getting ready to publish. Which means I'm sending it out for the public to hopefully enjoy and get pleasure from. There is a lot more stress and pressure when writing a piece of fiction.
In a way, you would think it would be easier because I can make everything up! I mean everything! I don't really have to fact check and it makes me laugh when people try to tell me that I'm "wrong" about stuff. Guess what?! I made it up! Lol. But I digress, the down side of making everything up, is that you have to... make-everything-up. The characters, from head to toe, their emotions, thier choices, their conflicts. The town, the setting, the plot... All the pieces have to fit together neatly, and all the questions have to be answered... AND it has to be entertaining! I will lay in bed for hours trying to put all these things together. Oh! The stress! When I offer up a fiction to the public, there are days of stress before there is even a need for it. I don't stress about the sales, I don't stress about the distribution or the book signings (or lack thereof), I stress about you.
I spend so much time trying to get to "The End" and have a piece of work that I can be proud of and a whole story that you can get caught up in; characters that you grow to love, and hate. Characters that become real to you and you miss them when they're not around. I stress out that if this is the second book you're reading of mine, that you'll give it a fair chance. I stress out that you will allow me to expand my horizons and branch out into other areas of interest. I stress that you won't love the characters and the story the way that I do. I stress that you'll put mean things on Amazon... See? It's a wonder I get any sleep at all!
But I couldn't stop the writing process. Even if I wanted to. Getting to those two little words, "The End", gives me such a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction and an inner peace that I can't even explain. So even with all the stress that goes along with it, I am driven to get to those two little words. They have such an impact on my daily life.
In the beginning, when they are so far away, I can take time, getting to know the people in my stories and learn what they're capable of and what troubles they're going to get in to. I always know how the story is going to end, but sometimes the stuff in the middle surprises even me! So in the middle, when the end is just a blurry vision, I get more excited at how things are fleshing out and want to introduce them to everyone, but I have to be still for a little longer. And then... when the end is sooo close, I am locked into the story and in front of my computer for as many hours as possible. The rest of my life pretty much gets put on hold because I am so driven to get to be able to type those two little words! (My friends and family are very understanding!)
Then the day comes... I type, The End. All the stress I felt before goes away; and I offer my work to the next person in the business chain of writing. Everything I was worried about seems to disappear and I am comfortable with whatever will be. The outcome of the success or failure of story is in your hands.
Don't get me wrong, I am riveted to the Amazon review pages and watching my numbers, and am really and truly pleased when someone likes my work. I am so flattered every single time someone takes time out of their life to tell me that they enjoyed my stories, articles or books or even better, fills in those five little stars on Amazon or Goodreads! So now you know how important those two little words are in the eyes of this author. Oh, did mention that there's always a treat of ice cream waiting for me after every "The End"?! As if I needed more incentive!