First, the backstory. I've been developing an idea for over a year now. At the beginning of January, I sat down and began pounding out the prose for a solid few hours every day. I've never worked so hard, long, exclusively, and uninterruptedly at any project that I can remember, or at least not since my master's thesis.
I've never been so happy in my life.
For six weeks, I sat down every weekday, switched off my wi-fi, and just banged out sentence after sentence. Then I would turn on the internet again and do more research, etc., to round out the world I was creating. As the six weeks rolled by, I got happier and happier, totally caught up in my character's life, feeling I'd found my life's calling, feeling like I was on a permanent caffeine buzz (OK, I was on a caffeine buzz until at least noon every day!). And then I wound up the episode I was working on, which ends rather dramatically, and I was a psyched as if what happened to the character had happened to me!
I went around bursting, telling everyone "This is the best day of my life!"
I felt like it was my birthday.
It was a gorgeous, hot spring day (in February), too.
And then I sent out the episode to a few insightful, literary friends, read bits to other people in my life, and waited for feedback.
And the feedback trickled in, far less than I'd hoped for, not anywhere near as enthusiastic as I'd imagined.
And I crashed. Hard.
So now I'm blue as can be -- well, no, not quite. If I were really depressed, I wouldn't be able to get distance and reflect on this roller coaster. It's happened before: I'll finish a project, have a book published, do a reading, give a recital, complete a school year, or something, and there will be that void afterwards. That sense of: Wait, who am I? What do I do? Why am I here? What have I accomplished with my life?
But just as this high was the highest I've ever had (creatively speaking), so this low is the lowest (also creatively speaking).
And that was just the first episode -- of thirty-six episodes!!! Yikes.
So here's what I would love to know. Writers (and other creative types): Does this happen to you? All the time? Sometimes? When? Why? How do you get out of it? Is it a sign that the work wasn't good? Or is it just the roller coaster we have to ride?
Thanks -- and help!!