Anne here, and I’ve just finished a book — finished in that I've written the full draft, submitted it to my editor for comment, and revised it with her comments in mind. It’s now gone off to copyediting and I’m celebrating — well, that’s the theory. Here's the cover — pretty eh?
I always plan to do something wonderfully exciting and celebratory when I’ve finished a book, and as I’m in the last frenzied stages of the book, my head is full of plans for what I’ll do once the book is in . . .
Should I go for a little holiday? Some of my writing friends always take themselves off on a lovely little holiday somewhere when they put a book in. Or should I go a little lower-key and just invite a bunch of friends around to celebrate? Or maybe I should go shopping, splash out and buy something I’ve always wanted. Whatever that is.
But somehow, once the book is in, those plans just seem to evaporate. I look around the house, blinking like a new-wakened bear and see that the housework has banked up disgracefully and my office is a bomb — and not in a good way — so a week of washing and vacuuming, scrubbing and polishing lies ahead. Yay.
As well, I have a stack of emails to be answered, and a pile of little literacy books to be laid out ready for the printer and some new stories to write for series #8 of PageTurners. And there are bills to be paid and sorted through because my tax is due —yes, there's no end to the dissipation and wild partying here. Or maybe I'll just step out and enjoy the garden —it’s spring downunder —and admire the luxuriant abundance of healthy . . . weeds — oh the joy!
I saw how tragic my so-called “celebrations” had become when I walked in to my hairdresser's the other day and he said, “So, just finished a book have you?” Because that’s also one of my rituals. Maybe I should take the plunge and go for some really wild partying and book the dentist in as well.
And OMG! — who put the holiday season on fast forward? Whoever it was has stolen half the year? Because I’m already getting adverts telling me Christmas is just weeks away! Can that be right? If so, I’m very tempted to buy everyone a goat and then go into holiday hibernation. A goat? you ask. Yes, really. More about that here.
So I’m not going away on a holiday, but I am taking steps to find some slightly less mundane ways to celebrate finishing a book that has taken me eight months (or more) to finish. Tomorrow (as you read this, in fact) I will be meeting with someone to make some long-needed changes to my house, and in the evening I have invited some friends to come around for pizza and to watch a show I’ve been planning to watch for ages — OUTLANDER. Okay, it’s baby steps, but it’s a start.
The other thing I'll do is to make stuff — for some reason, once I’ve finished a book, I always feel a need to make stuff — in a hands-on creative way. I’m not terribly skilled at it, but I do enjoy tinkering around with things. So I am going to a bead and gem show in a few days and plan to buy some gorgeous semi-precious stones to make some jewelry. And I’ll head to the beach on a cold and windy day and look for sea-glass, also to make jewelry with.
And rather than getting panicked about how fast the holiday season has crept up on me, I’m planning to make some Christmas ornaments. As well as one or two gifts—apart from the goats.
And because this book and the characters in it are still living in my head, I’ve already started on the next book in the series. And a prequel, too. So yes, it appears I’ve already put myself back on the treadmill.
So, any suggestions for how you think I should celebrate the finishing of a book? Because clearly I'm a celebration tragic and need a few tips. I'll send a copy of the Wenchly Christmas anthology — THE LAST CHANCE CHRISTMAS BALL — to some one who leaves a really good suggestion.