Twiddlin’ my thumbs
I recently wrapped up the first draft of my latest WIP and put it aside for a couple of weeks before tackling the editing process and submitting it to a publisher who made a request for the full. I mentioned this to a colleague at work and he asked, “Now, what do you do? What next?”
There is nothing sweeter to me than when I get to type “The End” to a manuscript that I have labored over for several months. Now, I’m a night writer so usually this occurs when the Main Man and the kiddos are fast asleep and since the Main Man usually can’t go back to sleep once he’s been woken up – I leave him alone and wait to tell him in the morning.
So, I do a little solitary happy dance in my writing cave and maybe have a little drinky-poo to toast my accomplishment and then I look at the clock and realize that I need to get up in a few hours for the day job and I hit the sack. Not exactly the red carpet, but we end up doing a little celebrating the next day as a family.
But, what about the following days when my fingers still feel the ghost-touch of the computer keyboard but I’m just not full recharged yet to tackle the next project?
Looking back, I realize that my “downtime” has evolved into a pattern of activity that revs up my creativity and lets me relax at the same time.
1. Catch up on my reading: I am a voracious reader and I find that I start digging in to my TBR pile with a fevered ferocity. I am also a fast reader and I can polish off two-four books per week between my reading the traditional way (you know, with my eyeballs) and having my Kindle read to me when I am in the car.
So far, I’ve polished off “Come Unto These Yellow Sands” by Josh Lanyon, “A Fountain Filled with Blood” by Julia Spencer Fleming, “Destiny’s Bastard” by Hank Edwards and “Perfect Chemistry” by Simone Ellkelles.
I’ll also read writing craft books during this time but lately it’s been all pleasure reading.
2. Scrapbook: I love this hobby. I get to use my hands, get messy and immerse myself in the memories of my photographs. It gets my creativity a jumpstart since it locks into another part of my brain.
3. I watch movies and catch up on TV: I write at night after the kiddos are in bed so while I may DVR shows I don’t always get to watch them right away. And movies? Well, with babysitters earning $10 per hour – it doesn’t happen except for our monthly date night. So, I have Netflix and then I get to see the movies I vaguely remember being in theaters sometime in the last decade. A recent favorite? “Love and Other Drugs” with the yummy Jake Gyllenhall – naked. ‘Nuff said.
4. Plot the next book: I let my mind start to work out the next book – slowly and organically. I may jot down random ideas, start to work out characters but I’m not actively writing yet. I find things and dump them into my Scrivener file, clip photos and such to inspiration wall in my writing cave (see right – I made the corkboard decoration – cute, right?) and generally let the story percolate.
So, that’s what I do in an nutshell. What do you do in between book projects?