What’s Next?

Two days ago, I finished a rough draft of my very first novella, SPIN, which I’ve been working on since November 2014. When I typed the final words, I went through a myriad of emotions―excitement (it’s DONE!), disbelief (really, it’s done?), sadness (no more romps in this world?)…and then came a rather loaded question: what’s next?

Pretty sure this is what most writers look like when they've just completed a big project.

Pretty sure this is what most writers look like when they’ve just completed a big project.

Immediately, I ran downstairs, told my boyfriend I’d completed the novella, and he insisted on taking me out to dinner to celebrate. (Did I mention he’s amazing?)

I posted my accomplishment on social media. I did a little research and found out that I’ve written a novelette, not a novella (that tricky, sneaky word count!). I enjoyed a monster of a Reuben sandwich. I treated myself to a finger of my Yamazaki 12-year whisky, which I reserve for special occasions.

Yesterday, I read through the whole beast twice, fixing issues in continuity, identifying words that were clearly overused (I particularly liked the verbs flick and flutter in this piece―and there were a lot of pauses, moments, and breathing), and adjusting wording to better fit the overall style of the piece. I read a lot of sections out loud. This morning, I sent out the working draft to my first readers.

The only way for me to celebrate writing accomplishments. It's so good when it hits your lips!

The only way for me to celebrate writing accomplishments. It’s so good when it hits your lips!

I’ve done a lot, but there’s still a lot to do. I need to get real savvy about self publishing in the next month, because I plan to get this baby download-ready by June 5, my 30th birthday. I need to coordinate with the artist who’s designing my book cover (although, I’m ahead with this because we’ve already talked through some concepts). I need to promote the hell out of this thing, build some hype. And I need to continue to edit, edit, edit.

So that loaded question of “What next?” Well, a lot. I’m nowhere near done with this project. I’ve merely finished the writing piece of this process. I’m about to dive in to a lot of work that first-time authors don’t generally think about when they label themselves a “writer.” I know I didn’t, not when I first started out.

But now I’m ready. With whisky in hand, an amazing group of first readers who will tighten my story till it’s a clothesline ready to snap, an endless support system of friends and family who are cheering me on, and this crazy passion burning in my chest…what’s next?

Success and sharing and (hopefully) everyone reading SPIN.

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