Pre-project Termination Depression

I am currently working on draft one of the Zamboni Zealot (yes, I did drop the idea for the 26th book being about cannibalism to be about something more central to Denver: the Avalanche – sorry to all of you looking forward to a gruesome zoo story). I am also in the process of working out the detailed plotline for the 27th and final book in the series, The Absent Ally.

And I am finding that the process of finishing up the series is harder than I expected.

No, it’s not that I don’t have an idea of what the mystery is, who the villain is, or how MacFarland solves the crime. Those are the easy parts.

I am having difficulty pushing myself across the finish line because I don’t want the task to be over.

When I was a consultant, I used to call this condition “Pre-project Termination Depression” or PTD. When I knew that a project was almost over, I would get depressed. My work would be completed, I would have to say goodbye to a lot of people I had worked closely with for three intense months, and I would be moving on to a new assignment.

I suspect this kind of a psychological reaction occurs in many areas of human endeavor. In one sense, it’s hard to believe that such a reaction should exist. After all, completing a project should be a source of joy, filling one with a sense of accomplishment.

But as a writer, I have lived with MacFarland, Pierson, Rufus, Lockwood, and all the others for more than five years now.

I don’t want to say good-bye to them.

But The Hot Dog Detective series deserves its ending, and I will suck it up and push ahead.


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