My dissertation is due a week on Friday, though I aim to post it a week today (cheaper, easier and less stressful than driving to campus through roads full of holidaymakers). I have finished the essay and am concentrating on the fiction component, seven Gothic short stories that are loosely linked. I seem to be tweaking rather than making major changes; I'm not sure if that's a good sign or not.
Deadlines have to be met, so I feel a mixed dread and elation when I 'complete' a story in time. Although my dissertation deadline marks the end of my Masters, it's also the beginning. I now have the tools needed to try and embark on a writing career - no excuses. The stories I am preparing for submission will be reworked and polished several times over - regardless of whether I am lucky enough to get them published.
No wonder I feel torn. Next week might be the end of a year's intense work, but it's the beginning of my life's work.