What To Do When You've Finished Your First Draft
At the end of the November, I hit a major milestone and finished the first draft of the book I'm currently writing. I've been working on this project off-and-on since the summer of 2014 so this was a pretty major moment for me. December marked the first month of this book's second phase so I thought I'd share what to do after you've finished your first draft, based on my personal experience of course.
1. Watch a lot of YouTube Videos - Now that you've finished your first draft, it's time to get yourself caught up on all those makeup tutorials and ASOS hauls you missed. How are you supposed to sell your book if you don't have the latest contour pallet? Everyone knows you need to look like a Kardashian to sell a book these days.
2. Spend Disproportionate Amounts of Time on Social Media and Call It "Building An Audience" - Since YouTubers and Social Media Influencers get book deals all the time, the hours you spend editing Instagram photos and searching for the perfect Twitter hashtags are really hours invested in your writing career. Buying succulents and macarons for Instagram photos can be considered a tax write-off if your growing following helps you land a book contract.
3. Sleep in until 10am - Do I need to elaborate here? Everyone knows that sleep is the key to brilliant ideas. All my best ideas come to me in my dreams... and of course I always remember to write them down in the morning and turn them into bestsellers.
4. Drink. A lot. - Hemingway was drunk for the first half of the 20th century wasn't he? Not only does drinking improve your writing, it also helps you forget that your first 53,000 words are seriously questionable.
5. Contemplate Not Finishing the Book and Never Writing Anything Ever Again - After two years you've finally finished that first draft and it's time to be honest with yourself-- it's not as good as you thought it would be. This is the time for a regularly-scheduled artistic crisis in which you contemplate giving it all up and moving to the country to raise goats and make soaps make out of organic milk.
This is how I spent most of my December, but if any of this is familiar to you, just remember that it's normal to have an artistic crisis once in a while. The important thing is to push through the fear and doubt, and trust the work you've put into your project so far. It's not always easy but, as my dad once told me, we don't make art because we want to be happy.
Making art is hard, but it's worth it.