There's a certain malaise that comes from scooping out your inner life with a spoon and making it real for other people. You can no longer inhabit that world on your own, wandering the halls and rewriting the narrative as you see fit. Now that it's all been made official, you have, in effect, exorcised that fantasy from your head and there's no returning to it without dragging a buttload of real world dogma along with it.
Every time I finish a new book, I think, This has to be the last one. When there are no more edits to be made and the ARCs start going out, I sit back and look around in the harsh light of reality, and it must be said, reality kinda sucks. The lighting is bad, almost no one has a proper eight-pack or giant magical penis, and if you want to have sex, you have to plan ahead and shave your legs like a sucker.
It takes a special kind of masochism to repeatedly sacrifice your fantasies to the page. It's very draining, bringing your dreams to life, and for a while, I don't know what to do with myself because the world where I spent the last however many months and the people I invested in, who felt very, very real, are suddenly gone. I walk around in a funk for days or even weeks, reaching for a something new to fill the void of my imagination and coming up empty. It's like the dull heartache of a breakup, only I can't lay off the blame on an asshole ex.
I know this is a temporary state, but if anyone needs me I'll be eating a pint of ice cream for dinner and going to bed early.