You Just Finished Writing a Novel. Now what?

It feels weird.

When I sit at my computer at night, I automatically start to move the mouse towards the Willow folder I keep in my toolbar. Then I remember, oh yeah. I finished the book. Then I think, wait a second. I don’t have to write anymore at night. How come I’m not downstairs watching TV or something?

Habits are hard to break. Good and bad. I had thought that after last week, I would take a couple of weeks from writing altogether. Sort of a mini-vacation of sorts. I saw myself sitting on the futon, sipping mojitos and catching up on all the sitcoms I haven’t seen in months. Or maybe actually finishing that Final Fantasy game that’s been on my laptop…and other computers…for many, many years. Or maybe going for long walks with my hubby with Daniel bounding in front of us in his light-up Buzz Lightyear sandals (nice to wear at night, when the flashing lights resemble fireflies who got into too much red Merlot…)

Instead, here I am, sitting down. Writing.

Oh, don’t think I haven’t done any lollygagging. Yesterday, I watched Napoleon Dynamite–an actual DVD, after dinner. Ooooo! And today, during Daniel’s naptime, which is my normal time to write, I decided to take one too instead of writing. Aaaaaaahhh! And this Friday, I plan to take my kid to the zoo. All day! Indrawn Gasp!

On the flip side, however, I edited a short story and started the submission process. I also did an inaugural post for the Writer’s Block, which I have joined as a new writer. (If you wish to read that post, you can see it here.) I’m also seriously thinking about revamping the blog a bit, making it look more nicer, adding some sweet new features. And let’s not forget working on some new stories. I gotta get my published stories list nice and padded.

Hmmm…I didn’t think I’d be so busy after Willow, but that’s okay. One of the great things about writing is that you can go at your own pace. Now that I’m done with Willow, the plan is to let it simmer for a bit on the back burner, percolate if you will, for about several weeks. I plan to pick it back up again in September and start the first edits. I already know what I’m going to do for those edits, and I feel like I’m chomping at the bit. Part of me wants to dive right in and start those edits now.

But there’s good in letting something rest for a bit. It will help my creativity far more if I put some distance between the book and me. Thus, when I return to it in September, my mind will be fresh and ready to tackle the job. Plus, I need to enjoy this leisurely pace I have now, the freedom to choose when to write and when to not. The urges to write show what I am, fundamentally, is a writer, and that won’t stop even if I don’t write for a day or two (or in the worse case scenario, seven years). The times when I don’t feel that urge show that I’m enjoying the life God gave me, whether if its folding laundry or yelling at the boy for using my lotion as fingerpaint on the carpet.

Uhh…wait…

I’m enjoying the life that God gave me, whether if its going outside to look at my growing tomato plants or my boy giggling as he hides beneath the blanket on my bed, or actually stretching out on the futon and doing absolutely nothing.

Yeah, that’s better.

And oh yes. Vote for Pedro. Bunny Style!

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One Response

  1. Haha! It is hard to let go of that project after the first draft or so. For me, I keep thinking of new characters, scenes, sub-plots, etc., but also have to keep reminding myself that I need to let it sit for a while before going back to it with fresh eyes. I write down the ideas but keep them away from the main piece. Like you said, it’s nice to just enjoy other things for a bit.

    Again, glad to have you on the block and thanks for linking it in your post!

    Nancy

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