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?