Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Long and Winding Editing Road—Emptiness

I've finished the third draft of my novel. I've sent it off to a few readers. Now, I sit at my computer aimlessly clicking from my email to Twitter and back to my email again.

I expected to be a little dazed after I finished this draft, but I didn't expect to feel so empty.

How do I return to normal life after working so hard on one project for several months?

When I finished the second draft last November, the same thing happened, only I didn't have the advantage of hindsight to recognize it then. Now, at least, I can make an effort to fill the emptiness with useful activities, unlike in November and December, when I filled the emptiness by wasting time.

In my last post I outlined a few things that I wanted to do to fill my time, but none of them hold much appeal to me (except applying for college, though that's more of a necessity than an appeal). All I can think about is writing. So, though I had planned to save outlining stories for a summer project, I will probably start outlining now to save myself from wasting time. Idleness is the mother of all vices, as they say.

When you writers finish a new draft, do you feel emptiness or relief? Do you jump straightaway into the next project? If not, what do you fill your time with?


  1. That emptiness is quite familiar to me. There's this sense of... "hmm, I could actually sit around twiddling my thumbs for a few minutes..." (I sometimes get the same feeling when I finish reading a really good book and am a bit a-flounder as to what to read next...)

    I usually take a couple of weeks off between projects, just so I don't get too burned out, but I'm almost always writing something, regardless of whether or not I'm supposed to be taking a break. Blog posts, to-do lists, letters, emails, grocery lists... writing is compulsory for me.

    Congrats on finishing the third draft!

    1. Writing other things like blog posts and grocery lists while on break is a great idea. I've been trying to sort out some characters for a different story, but I haven't gotten very far yet.