So. I finished my novel 10 days ago. Woo hoo. And I've only celebrated 3 times. I obviously wish I were in New York so I could celebrate at Molly's - it is after all the setting for Abby's (and all the other bars in my writing). The feat has had a taste of anti-climax to it too - I almost felt like it wasn't a big deal. But it is. It's a massive deal.
But today, after I'd smacked me into place and stopped telling myself the novel is garbage, I'm thinking about all the times I wondered if I was just committing the sunk cost effect and should delete all of my writing, give up the notion of a novel and suck up that life is nothing more than minutes and reviewing ethics applications and hating almost everyone I work with expect one person I don't hate and seven I don't really hate but just dislike (I kid! well, kind of, maybe).
Which leads to the question of how you would know when it's sunk cost fallacy or when it's just really hard going but something you have to do? I've said all along when people have asked if this was my first novel, that no it isn't but it's the first one I'm going to finish. So did I finish this one just because I have been stubborn and by doing so I committed the fallacy? But isn't that what you need to get to the end of things that are hard, stubbornness (and people who will let you cry on their shoulder when you're doubting yourself and tell you to just finish it)?
But really, who cares? I've been through the process, fallacy or not, and I came out alive on the other side. I've learned a lot, things which I will implement for my next one (oh yes, there is another one - it's been brewing for months, and it's, according to UP, genius) so maybe the process will be simpler. This one has just been through my good friend's editorial so I will look through the suggestions and do a little edit. Then my little fairytale will go off and seek representation. And even if it gets rejected over and over again I don't care - I got this far and I will go all the way one day.
So conclusion, I don't believe in the sunk cost effect. At least not when it comes to novel writing. It's hard. It's not always fun, a lot of the time it's just painful. But it's rewarding to make stuff up, to create worlds by stringing words together, characters with souls (and no, no one is in my novel - I may have borrowed a few traits here and some other there but c'est tout), life.
This is who I am.