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What do you do after you exhale?

When the draft is polished. When the edits are done. When the book is now in the capable hands of my agent and all I can do is wait. Now what do I do?

For me, that first week after a serious round of revising and editing, the best way to unwind is immerse myself in lots of good books. I try not to read while I’m writing or editing, mainly because I don’t want to subconsciously “borrow” something from someone else. I want the story I write to be completely mine. So when everything is finished, I get to reward myself and read for enjoyment.

So I bought Blue Moon by Alyson Noel, who is one of my favorite authors and such a super nice person to boot. And I also got Wings by Aprilynne Pike, which has been out for a while, but I haven’t had a chance to read up till now. I love reading debut novels especially, because it helps me keep focused. Yesterday at the bookstore I wandered around the Young Adult section, telling my husband that one day soon my book WILL be right there too.

I am a fast reader and it takes about 6 hours to read a book among requests for peanut butter sandwiches and letting the dogs out to pee. Then usually after about a week, I am ready to dive into the next book I have been thinking about.

It’s a never ending cycle, but one that I can’t imagine doing without. There is an urge there to keep on writing. No matter how silent my inbox is waiting to hear if a book sold, I have to keep on going. The first may never sell, or the second, or the third (Though I may have to start drinking by that point!) but you just have to keep on keeping on.

In the words of Dory from Finding Nemo, Just keep swimming. So now, tell me, how do you unwind, recharge, and just keep swimming?
Lee Bross

Lee lives her happily ever after on the coast of Maine where she has written Tangled Webs, her historical YA debut, and fantasy YA books Fates and Chaos under pen name Lanie Bross. She also writes contemporary books for New Adult under the name L.E. Bross, debuting with Right Where You Are.

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  1. Hehe, love Dory.

    After I finished my first novel, I checked into the hospital. But that wasn't because of the book, it was because of that pesky tuberculosis. (Although considering my villain's mother died of TB, I question whether or not my novel is, in fact, to blame for my illness.)

    When I finished revising, I just went straight into the next WIP. I read during writing, but I try to read well outside of the genre I'm writing in to avoid exactly what you said. Right now I'm reading a killer non-fiction book called Outliers.

    As for what to do while my novel's on sub...I'm not quite there yet! I imagine much chocolate and wine and/or beer will be involved.

    And my mental fingers are crossed for you, Lee! :)

  2. Reading and writing help me be entertained while waiting on betas or query responses.

    Right now I'm rewriting something I don't plan on querying, and I'm finding it a lot of fun.

  3. If I read while I'm writing, it has to be a book with the same tone but I like it to be a very different story.
    I think when I finish this rewrite, I'll just move on to the evergrowing list of *shiny new ideas* that creep in all the time.

  4. I re-immerse myself in the other stuff that fills up my life--mothering, coaching, keeping my home running.

    I also make myself lists of all those useful nut not entirely necessary things I mean to do, but push aside to write--things like organizing the freezer, cleaning out the car, and other stuff that my nervous energy can be funneled into. While I'm doing mindless chores, the ideas for new stories develop.

    It's never long before the next WIP calls, and I'm sucked in again.


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Item Reviewed: What do you do after you exhale? Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Lee Bross