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10 Promises When You Finish a Draft

I’m the kind of person that needs to write every day or something unravels in the writer side of my brain and I lose all creative functions. So, after I finish a draft, the writer side of my brain wants me to re-launch back into another revision while momentum is strong – but the result is usually frustration, bad revision moves, and in the end I have more problems in my project than when I started. Does that happen to anyone else?

So here are ten promises I have for myself when I’ve finished a draft:

1. I’ll put my rewrite in a drawer. I know I have to do it. But -- it’s just so hard to say goodbye to these characters. We’ve been through a lot. A fire – snapping turtles made of plastic – annoying pigtailed kindergarteners that don’t understand personal space – homemade pop tarts. (That’s right. HOMEMADE POP TARTS.)

2. I will not start something new today even though my creative juices are still flowing. Because - so is the character’s voice from my other draft. Her predicament. Her love interest. They are still ripe in my mind. It’s hard to start in on something different when all I hear is my other character’s voice.

3. I will read something. It’s like a little bit of ginger between sushi bites. A brain cleanse. I’ll pick something from my to-be-read pile that I’ve been looking forward to reading for a while. Something like El Deafo by Cece Belle.

4. I’ll send my draft to my beta readers and then make a batch of homemade pop tarts and eat them ALL.

5. I’ll write a rambling blog post and put it on my website. (You’re welcome.)

6. I’ll brainstorm new ideas. Casual-like with no judgments. Vampire rock-star beauty queen? Write it down. Misunderstood sunflower in the middle of a daisy field? Solid idea. Bunny rabbit with identity crisis because his parents thought she was a girl her whole life? Good one, Erin.

7. I’ll finally do some laundry. (when my kids run out of underwear…)

8. I’ll watch kitten videos and research fantasy vacations where people wear flip-flops instead of fuzzy giant boots during my normal writing time.

9. Out of the blue I’ll send a detailed unorganized three page brainstorm on our fall conference plans to my co-chair. I mean, I have to do SOMETHING while I drink my morning caffeine.

10. I’ll make some cookies with my kids today and instead of building them a fort and setting them up with books and snacks and movies so I can write for an hour – I’ll join them.

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