That Weird Afterglow

Two days ago, I celebrated twice. Friday was both my wedding anniversary and the day I finished the first draft of my untitled sequel to The Brevity of Roses. We celebrated the first occasion with a movie (not good) and a dinner (excellent). I celebrated the second with a huge sigh of relief because I took so dagnabit long to write that draft.

Yesterday morning, I went to my computer to check email, blogs, Facebook, etc., and then that weird afterglow hit me. Yay, I finished the book! Darn, I have nothing to write today.

Instead, I did laundry and made liquid hand soap. Then I started clearing the clutter I’d let collect around me for months. Today, I’ll continue working around the house to keep my mind off the lost feeling that comes from not writing. All the while, I’ll try to avoid conscious thought about the book.

In a few days, I’ll sit back down and open that file again.  I’ll start at the beginning, reading one chapter at a time. This will be a light edit—first I’ll deal with the comments I left myself during writing. Then, I’ll fix typos and punctuation errors, clarify meaning, and correct any inconsistencies that no doubt occurred because I worked on this a full year, and it’s risky to rely on my memory.

The next step will be to send it to my alpha reader, who is an excellent writer and strong in the areas I’m not. After I get my alpha’s notes, I’ll revise and follow that with a deeper edit. Then, I’ll put my little baby in the hands of a few beta readers. (If you volunteered, please remind me.)

I’ll have much more work to do in the coming weeks, but I’m trying hard not to get stressed about that. I’ve done all this before, so I know I’m capable.  I’d like to work on the cover in my breaks from editing, but I need a title first. I might already have one. Might. Just in case not—I’m still listening, Muse.

Well, that’s the state of my writing affairs. May whatever state you’re in be a great one.


Image courtesy of Idea go / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

23 thoughts on “That Weird Afterglow

  1. Congratulations on finishing that first draft and for celebrating your anniversary! I usually find it such a temptation not to open that file while I’m letting it sit for a bit. I’m afraid I have four manuscripts on the go at the moment and it looks as though there will be another project wedging its way in.

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      1. I keep jumping back and forth, Linda. I had high hopes of getting through one this summer, but that didn’t happen. Perhaps because I couldn’t seem to settle down and just work completely on it. Now with certain other developments it looks as though there may be another one thrown into the mix. It’s not a very productive way to write. But who knows at the end of five years I may have four or five novels completed. 😉

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  2. Well pop the cork and pour me a glass! Good for you, Linda! It’s hard to let them sit when you know how much work is ahead.

    I have the opposite problem today. It has been too easy to stay away from my MS. I received a new book in the mail yesterday, and although I know I should be writing, I’m reading instead of working on my own piece. It’s all good fodder, though. So I’ll smile and accept that I’m always a bit fickled in my love for both.

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    1. Thank you, K. 🙂 I never let a work sit as long as they say you should … or even as long as I plan. But this time I promised my husband I’d take care of some chores I’ve put off way too long.

      I have so many books backed up. I hesitate to even add a book to my Goodreads “now reading” shelf because the length of time it takes me to finish it looks like I think it’s boring or incredibly difficult to read. But I have a book on writing that I really want to read a good chunk of before I start editing.

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      1. I understand that! I’ve limited myself to adding only 10 books to my Goodreads “to read” shelf for similar reasons. I have a list so long that if I posted it I’d look as if I want to read a lot of books, but don’t actually read any of them. I also decided not to add books I’ve read in the past. I want to review each I read going forward and I don’t have the time or patience to go back and write reviews for books I’d read years ago.

        I tend to let a draft sit too long. I wrote one in ’09 that I still haven’t given a good polishing. But then again, I’ve pretty much abandoned that one because I lost my zeal to write thrillers and I allowed too many cooks to lay their hands on the soup, which had me at a point of confusion with my own story. You might find that not having critique along the way helped you to hold the story together – too many voices can often disjoint the process. At least that’s how it’s working out for me.

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        1. K. I hope I do find “that not having critique along the way helped you to hold the story together”, but I had some feedback and a couple of brainstorming sessions with my small critique group that I think improved Brevity. Of course, maybe I’ll get that this time from my alpha and beta readers. Finding a writer or two who’s on your wavelength to exchange feedback is invaluable.

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  3. Congratulations, Linda, on both counts!! 🙂

    You sound so very organized! You seem to know exactly where you are headed, it’s great!
    My first drafts are always such a mess it takes so many many rounds to get them where I want to be.
    I hope it goes well!

    I have to ask:how do you make liquid soap?

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    1. Thank you, Jennifer. 🙂 It’s not often anyone calls me organized, but I think editing is easier for me than writing. I know how many steps I took for Brevity, so I’m assuming I’ll do the same for this novel. However, this time I had no feedback along the way, so I may have a bigger mess on my hands than I know. 😕

      About the liquid soap: I avoid products with sodium lauryl sulfate, so I have to make my own by melting a natural bar of soap in purified water and adding a little glycerin. I’ll have directions on my upcoming new blog, which will be about natural and healthy living.

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  4. Oh, yeah. Housework. Ahem. I need to do better in that regard, too. As I pen this note, I am doing laundry, but that’s all. In the meantime, I’m just enjoying this three-day weekend and catching up with some laptop things. Tonight and tomorrow I address the second edition paperback of my debut that just got on Amazon last month. There’s always something, isn’t there?
    Linda, dear friend – congratulations on both of those milestones. Best wishes as you move to the next phase…

    -Jimmy

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    1. I think my house has about 50 pounds of dust in it, Jimmy. It not only looks bad, it’s unhealthy. But I keep distracting myself from cleaning, so who knows how much I’ll get done before I break my self-imposed ban on editing. 😉

      There is indeed, always something. Right now, I’m trying to decide if I want to put Brevity back in the KDP Select program or upload it to all the other sites again. I wish you well on getting your POD version up and running.

      And thank you. 🙂

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  5. Congratulations on both amazing accomplishments. In the grand scheme of things, one year is not very long. It took me 3 years to write my first book. I know when it is all said and done, you will have another book to be proud of. Let it sit for as little or long as you think it needs. happy editing.

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    1. Thank you, Darlene. 🙂 When you say 3 years, was that just for the first draft? I think this one went faster because it’s a sequel, but I think I could have written that draft in about 4 months if I hadn’t been sick from November to May. Who knows how long it will take before it’s ready to publish. Not long, I hope, but I thought I was done with Brevity more than once before I actually was.

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