Finished Writing Your Book? How To Deal with Post Task Depression

In the following post, I talk about a very real issue that many authors face after they finish writing their book—a little thing called post-task depression. I’ll talk about why it happens and what to do if it happens to you.

Roughly eighteen months ago I made the commitment to write a book. I didn’t quite have the clarity about who it was for and what the key message was, but I was ready to make the commitment. It’s been one hell of a ride, but I can say the journey has come to an end. In just a few months time, I’ll be releasing ‘Quiet Confidence: Breaking Up With Shyness’.

A few weeks ago, my editor finished the third and final edit of the manuscript. That’s it, done! Although I thoroughly enjoyed the process, there were times when I simply couldn’t wait to get to the end—to celebrate the completion. Although, for a number of months, the finish line appeared to drag out, like it was purposely being taken away from me. The invisible perfectionist kept moving the goal post on me. I was incredibly frustrated, I just wanted to move on and have a sense of closure on one project—whilst getting excited about another.

So when the curtain finally closed, something completely unexpected happened. At what I thought would be a completely joyful occasion, I was left with emptiness. I should have been excited, but I simply wasn’t feeling it. I had developed ‘post-task depression’, where I was feeling a loss—no longer having moments of creativity that transformed me into another world. The end goal had been achieved, but I wasn’t excited. I tried to drum up enthusiasm about my book, there was none. I felt extreme pressure to build the community that grew from a seed from inside the book—yet I was too caught up in this depressed state that it didn’t feel authentic for me to engage with them.

Despite the mountain of tasks ahead of me to launch the book and build my business, I was still caught up in this state, and I couldn’t kick it. It wasn’t until a discussion with my coach that I realised that I was terribly missing the creative process of writing. I hadn’t realised just how powerful it was for me to express myself through the written word—in a sense, it’s my therapy. For an introvert like me, writing is an incredibly powerful expression because it allows us to express our vulnerabilities in one of the safest places possible—our notebook.

Writing my book was an emotional journey and a chance for me to express myself. When I finally made it, I discovered just how addicted I am to the expression of writing. It was the lack expression that was getting me down. As soon as I made this realisation, I knew exactly what I needed to do… keep writing!

I step into the next phase of the book—now with renewed enthusiasm. I understand that my creative outlet hasn’t gone anywhere. The pen is in my hand, and the paper is within reach. Marketing the book doesn’t mean I have to stop writing. In fact, far from it. The more I keep writing, the more connected I feel—to self, to the community and to my own inner Quiet Confidence.

At the moment, my writings are less structured and focused. Perhaps you could say I’m writing without purpose. You could say the expression is the purpose. It has no boundaries, it has no limits. It exists as a free-flowing piece of work. It will grow and evolve until it invents itself into something much larger. Perhaps my next blog post, who knows—the birth of an idea for my next book?

If you’re struggling to deal with the loss of one project ending, and maybe you’re stuck in the grey zone where your next project hasn’t yet formulated, I share this with you now as a gentle reminder to return to your own creative expression. I urge you to return to an unrestricted creative space. The one that gives you pure bliss without the need for an external fix. It might be as simple as continuing the reflective process in your journal, or an alternative artform that lights you on fire.

When you re-discover this, you’re reconnected to self without limit. Welcome back, Quiet Confidence!

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