After packing up my disco ball and heading back to London with nothing more than a crumpled flyer in my pocket, a hangover and a mixed sense of contentment and foreboding dread, I thought it would be helpful to offer five pieces of advice for coping with life post Edinburgh Fringe.
1. Go Back to Your Day Job. Immediately returning to the occupation that you keep when you are 'resting' will help you to come back down to earth with a humbling thump. This is usually making coffee, teaching or any other bill paying exercise with flexible hours. Of course there is a part of you that thought you would not be returning because this was the year you were to be 'discovered' and would start your Stephen Fry -esque career. It didn't happen, so say hello to the colleagues you left behind screaming 'screw you losers' and bow your head in gratitude at having a job to pay off the Edinburgh debts.
2. Watch Telly. Let's not pretend you're going to keep seeing loads of shows and pop off to your local theatres to keep your Edinburgh cultural diet thriving. You will go to the theatre again, next year at Edinburgh Fringe 2014. Until then, British Bake Off, X Factor and Strictly have started. Make a cup of tea and be true to yourself. Your Friday and Saturday nights are booked up till Christmas.
3. Sell Yourself. At Edinburgh Fringe it is normal practice to approach people in the street. It is legitimate to tell them about how great you are, to hand them pieces of paper with your face on it and suggest they meet you at around 10.15pm for the best night of their life, at the reasonable price of £11 (£10 concessions). Go to Soho and do the same, you won't be bored or lonely for long.
4. Stay in the Spotlight. Buy loads of lamps from Poundland and put them in your bedroom. Then put the heater on and close the windows. Sing a song and have a cry to recreate that buzz of being on stage. Also, when you're out and about, carry a torch and ask people to shine it on your head at regular intervals. This will help you to cope with being out of the limelight.
5. Keep the Reviews Alive. Ask your friends to give you a mark out of five for your banter. Ask your boyfriend to give you a mark out of five for your love-making. Ask your boss for a spontaneous appraisal, with marks out of five. Contact an old teacher and hand in an essay, ask for a mark out of five and a smiley face sticker. Collect your reviews, stick on a CD of bagpipe music, make some popcorn (Edinburgh smell) and down your sorrows with a bottle of Scottish whisky. Then get a pen and notebook and start writing. After all, there are only eleven months until the next Edinburgh Fringe and you need a new show!