photo by David Coleman | Dreamstime Stock Photos
The baby bird leaves the nest.
photo by David Coleman | Dreamstime Stock Photos

I reached a milestone this week: I completed a draft of my first major writing project as a full-time writer. As I typed the words “The End” at the end of that manuscript, I knew it wasn’t actually The End. After all, this is only the first draft. Plus, I have more stories bottled up inside of me, characters whispering in my ear, “Pick me! Pick me!”

Such is the writer’s life.

But my daily writing sprints working on that story framed my days. Whether I was ready to pull my hair out or completely caught up in the flow of storytelling, working on that novella filled much of my time over the past few months. I awoke Thursday (the day after I finished the draft) to a sort of confusion. No working on that story today, I realized.

That vague sense of confusion mixed with accomplishment led me to wonder, “What do we do after we’ve completed a major project?” I know I want to let it sit for at least a month before I dive into revisions, so I can see the story with fresh eyes. So, what to do…

Take a vacation to the Bahamas?

Sounds fun, but a bit out of the budget.

Clean my office?

Well, yes, this needs to be done, but I needed a day or two to recharge before I tackled the stacks of papers and magazines in there.

Start another story immediately?

Well, I’m guessing that’s what an extremely prolific writer like Nora Roberts would do. And I did spend a day writing down scene/character/plot ideas for a new story. I haven’t set fingers to keyboard yet, though. This one is still in the brainstorming/planning pre-planning phase.

Other things have filled my days: A workshop on the use of Twitter for writers, presented by Marcy Kennedy over at WANA International. Continuing other ROW80 goals, such as reading to hone my craft. Creating an editing to-do list for the newly complete first draft. Making planning notes for a new story. Editing an article I wrote to submit for publication. Add in a dash of spring cleaning, and that sums up what I’ve been doing.

What do you do after you finish a major writing project? I’d love to know!

Sunday ROW80 check-in

ROW80Logocopy1.) Finish a draft of “Good, Old-Fashioned Magic.” Wrote 3,132 words this week. First draft is complete! Yippee! And: Yay!

2.) Read to hone my craft. Read two more chapters in Donald Maass’ “The Fire in Fiction.” Finished reading Julia Cameron’s “Walking in This World.”

3.) Blog at least two times a week, on Wednesdays and Sundays. Target met.

4.) Check in on Twitter daily and on WANA Tribe at least once/week. Target met.

5.) Comment on 5-6 blogs per day, Monday-Thursday. Target met.

6.) Super-secret project: Write two articles/posts each week for that project. Target not met. Admittedly, I’ve been slacking on this one the past few weeks.

This a blog hop!


What about you? What do you do when you’ve finished a draft? Do you take time to do something else before you start a new story? Do you edit immediately or let the story wait for a while? Do you need a cool-down period between large projects?