Hi there, folks! And I’m happy to report that on one of my novel MS’s, I have completed my first draft, and now I’ve locked it up and buried the key and will leave it untouched for at least another month or so, time and circumstances permitting etc. Now here’s something I’d like to bring up, referring to the age old wisdom of rewarding yourself once you’ve completed a task. First of all, I’d like to say that having completed writing is a reward in and of itself, but we all like a little fun to take our mind’s off the harrowing journey of the novel we’ve just written, right? Or even a short story, which can take just as much effort.
So here’s what I suggest: celebrate you’re accomplishment, and do it without breaking the bank, because as you know, we’re all the writers who are so strapped for cash, what with being in college or university, out on our own, or maybe graduated and still looking for that first job or facing a minor setback in a killer market, that at times we find ourselves avoiding making an appointment with the dentist.
Here are some ideas:
1) Get together with friends, rent a movie from the library (that’s free compared to Netflix and Blockbuster!), and watch it together (and at the same time maybe you’ll get some ideas or zero in on a meditation for a next piece of writing!)
2) Buy your favorite sweet, or treat, and eat it with relish (your parents can’t yell at you (or they shouldn’t) for spending money on food, right?)
3) Hang out at a bookstore, without buying anything (if possible). If you’re like me, and have about 30 or so books bought up over the last couple of years that you still need to read, you shouldn’t concern yourself with buying more books (for pleasure). And in this time just spend some time immersing yourself in the book world, the front line of the market, where the buying by the consumer actually happens. Have wonderful visions of your book eventually ending up on those shelves, and look forward to the time when you take your draft out again, blow off the dust, and dissect it in preparation for polishing.
And this leads me to my next idea….
4) Read a book for pleasure. You might’ve read books for pleasure while you were writing to keep you inspired, or if you’re anything like me you might’ve read books out of your general interest because you wanted to know about the subject matter for what you’re writing (me, for example, read a book on the Hadron Collider at CERN, not because I’m passionate about particle physics, but I was curious to know some of the particulars because those same particulars were involved in my manuscript, just written in a different language (I will explore this a bit more in an upcoming blog post)).
But NOW, just read a book for the heck of it. If it inspires you, that’s terrific, but if you just want to read it because YOU want to enjoy it, take that time to return to those rainy days as a kid curled up in a chair reading your favorite book, without having to worry about it being a tool for your own use in your aspiring writer career.
5) Just take some to lay there and dream. Everyone says nothing’s accomplished with just dreaming, but you’ve done a fair a bit of work for your dreams, and you deserve to just take a moment and let it all soak in.
And remember, it costs nothing to dream.