No basking in the afterglow? I think that sums up how I feel.
Last night, after getting the 3rd draft (of my perpetually unnamed novel) in the can and despite a very stuffy head/nose and fatigue, I felt juiced. I felt chatty. Briefly talked to a friend on FB, wanted to talk to others.
This morning, after I put my son on the school bus, I was like, so now what? Normally that’s the time I write when I don’t have meetings first thing for work. But my draft was done. My son was gone. It was just me and a sunbeam on my couch with my coffee. I felt empty. Not empty in the sense of sadness, loneliness, or loss. Empty in the sense of “huh.”
I literally sat there for 30 minutes, coffee long finished, feeling empty. And not knowing what to do with my self. I would like to say that I felt complete, but that’s not true. I had a sense of wanting to celebrate my accomplishment, but in a limited fashion since it is just a (significant) milestone in a larger project. I also had a sense of wanting to share my success, but not really having anyone to share it with. So I sat down and started typing this entry as a way to share.
From here, I have a vague sketch of a plan. 🙂 My immediate focus as I said last night, is pushing it out to the people who have agreed to read the 3rd draft and picking up a couple more volunteers. I suspect that I will have that all wrapped up by tomorrow. I hope to get feedback from most of my readers the first weekend in April and from the Stylish Ladies on April 20th.
The next thing is to take a month off from the novel. I find the separation does me some good. Although I am amazed at the details I can work with and manage when I am heavily engaged with the novel, at the same time I recognize that a little time off gives me some fresh perspective when I go back to it. So the goal for the next month is not to work on it. If things go to plan with my readers, I will probably start chipping away at the 4th draft the second week of April.
In the meantime, I am going to start on the sequel. I already have the basic concept in mind and the malfeasant. I need to finish writing the background for my next bad guy and plot the 2nd book. I feel confident that I can get both of those things done in the next month. The outline might not be very good, but it will be a first draft so that’s fine.
Oh, for those of you wondering why I don’t take a month completely off — well, I’ve done that before and what I have discovered is that after a month off it takes me at least another month to get back into a consistent groove with writing, so I end up loosing two months. Besides which, I already have the idea for the next one.