I love writing the first draft of a book. It’s my favorite part of the process. So when I get to The End I go through withdrawals of a sort. That sense of urgency, that daily need to finish one more chapter, is over with. It feels like I’ve reached the peak of the mountain and am looking down the other side. I’ve accomplished the goal, made it to the top, finished the book. Now What?
When I finish writing a book, I go through it several times (my first one I edited completely at least fourteen times!). Then it takes me a day or two to get up my nerve to e-mail it to my editor. I eat lots of chocolate before I hit send.
It’s not that my editor is mean or horrible. She’s actually quite amazing. I’ve learned a lot from her. I’ve gotten better at commas (better, not perfect), I’ve learned to watch repeated words (most of the time – it’s amazing what fresh eyes on a manuscript can find!), and my story structure is getting more organized and flows more naturally. I’m improving with each book. It’s an amazing feeling, this learning and growing.
After the downward spiral from finishing the book, the time spent editing, the nervouseness of sending it to the editor, I find myself having chest pain. I ease off the coffee and chocolate, blaming the increased use of caffeine I used during the editing process.
Nope. Not the caffeine. When I finally get my book back from the editor and see that it doesn’t look like a scene from a bloody horror story, my chest pains go away. Stupid anxiety. I know this happens every time. And each time I try to control it, but it still rears it’s ugly head.
But it’s getting better. With each book I learn more and get more confident, and the anxiety decreases. I’ve found many other writers have anxieties throughout this process as well. I’m thankful to all of them for sharing their stories so that people like me can hear and have hope to keep on writing!
Now I’ll go enjoy some coffee and start my next project.