Finishing a draft – there’s no feeling quite like it! Whether it’s the first, second, third, fifteenth, or last editorial round, the sense of satisfaction that comes with reaching “The End” is second to none.
I for one am all about making the most of that victory – celebrating your heart out! And seeing as I just finished the first draft of Starchaser’s Book 5 this morning – which means the end of the core series – I’ve got victory dances on the brain! Check out these five ideas for celebratory actions at draft’s end!
1) Celebration Meal!
It’s no secret that writers sometimes choose words over food. Once that draft is done, it can be so much fun to cook or purchase your favorite meal or snack – treat yourself! Pour yourself a cup of your favorite beverage and do a toast. Sure, there’s always more work to done, but you succeeded! You burned calories while you smoked that keyboard! There are few better ways to celebrate a finished draft than with a full belly.
2) Do An Activity
Maybe it’s just me, but I find that when I’m closing in on “THE END,” I tend to neglect a lot of extracurricular activities in favor of finishing those last few scenes. If you tend to hole up in the drafting/editing cave with nothing but you and your story once the end is in sight, a great form of celebration can be to get outside and enjoy the sun, go to the store, get a coffee, or in some other way to just be physically active!
3) Read A Book
There are never enough hours in the day to both read and write. Many writers I’ve spoken with tend to find that, especially when they’re close to finishing their own MS, they neglect their “To Be Read” pile. Now that your draft is done, it may be time to shelve it for a little bit and read someone else’s foray into the writing craft before you continue your own!
4) Savor The Moment
This one is my favorite, and the one I’m personally best at. Once the draft is done – especially in cases like mine, where you’ve just finished your series – it’s a good time to get reflective. I like to plug in my headphones and listen to my writing playlist, visualizing the scenes I’ve just written, then revisiting parts of the story that happened over the months. Walking backwards through your whole process once you’ve reached the finish line can be a moving, powerful, breathtaking experience (and if you’re like me, you might cry six times in fifteen minutes and three songs. Yes, I am a HUGE crier!).
5) Start Rereading
Okay, I know a lot of writing coaches would hang me for this one! But I have my reasons. For me personally, I’m never more engaged, excited, or emotionally high on my draft as when I first finish it. For this reason, I tend to wait less than a day before I start rereading through it. While the very end of the story and its components are still fresh in my mind, I like to go back to the start and make sure I weave the beginning in even tighter with the ending. I usually consider this Draft 1.5, not even Draft 2, because it’s my first time to visit the story in its entirety and experience it like a reader would. So if you’re feeling up for it, don’t be afraid to dive right back in!
What are some of YOUR favorite ways to celebrate a finished draft? Share them in the comments below!