Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Writing the Book, Part Five: The . . . wait, what the heck do I do now?!

It finally happened: you wrote the words "The End." You finished your book! It's done! *Loud cheers and applause*
You feel relieved, content, and sad all at once. You've been working hard on this for months (maybe even years) and now, it's finished. It's a bittersweet moment.
...Until of course, you realize that you have no idea what to do with yourself anymore.
Luckily, you aren't alone. A lot of writers struggle after finishing their first book and wonder where to go next. What's the right direction? What should you do now? Well, let me give you some options!


1. Take a break. I highly recommend this one. After devoting so much time and energy to writing your book, you deserve to take a break! Plus, it's extremely beneficial if you do. Setting your manuscript aside for a few weeks allows your mind to rest and will help prevent you from getting burned out. Taking a break also will help you pick mistakes in your manuscript with ease once you begin the editing process.
2. Jump to the next book. This is what I did after I finished my first book. Though some may not recommend it, I don't think there's anything wrong with it. I knew my first book needed to be edited, of course, but I was too impatient to jump into the next book. So, I did! There's nothing wrong with starting your second book right after your first, but be warned: doing this makes it very, very easy to burn out. I ended up knocking out my entire second book in just four months, and after I finished that one I was mentally exhausted. My writing brain had gone through writing two books in less than a year, and I needed a serious break. So while it's totally okay if you want to get started on your next book, pace yourself!
3. Start editing. After I finished my second book, I tried to move onto the third, but couldn't bring myself to write. So, I went back to my first book and began my first round of editing. Personally, I think starting your first round of editing right after finishing your first book isn't a horrible idea, but it isn't the best. You've been looking at your story and words for months now, which will make finding mistakes and cutting out paragraphs a difficult task. However, if you think that jumping straight into the editing process is right for you, then go for it! Everyone has a different writing technique, so don't be afraid to experiment to find your.
4. Do something other than writing. *Collective gasp* What? Something...other...than writing? What does that mean?? Okay, seriously though. You've just finished an entire book. So go do something! Hang out with friends, go see a movie, binge-watch New Girl on Netflix. Treat yourself! You deserve it.

And that, my lovely readers, concludes the "Writing the Book" series. Hopefully now you have a good grasp on how to develop an idea, what to include in the beginning, middle, and end of the story, and what to do when you finish everything. Now, go write! :)

"I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." Philippians 3:14

1 comment:

  1. Currently working on my first ever writing project (a neo-mythical fantasy series), I have found this collection of articles not only informative, but inspiring and empowering. Now I know I can be able to finish my first book, take some time off, work on the second book and edit the first, and repeat the process for as long as seven books would allow. Thank you so much.

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