Oh Gawd, It’s Over! Now What Do I Do?

You’ve finally finished your intense creative project. It encompassed your whole world for months or years. Then you typed “The End” or painted your signature on the canvas. Glad it’s over, so you can move on to the next thing? Right, so why is it so hard to let go? I completely understand. Today I hit the “submit” button, sending my epic fantasy novel – The Lords of Valdeon – off to the book formatting group. As I write this post, I’m sitting before my laptop  and staring at the three book-length projects I’ve promised to kick out rather quickly. Yet, my mind still lingers on the years I’ve spent writing, re-writing and reinventing this epic fantasy. Why can’t I let go and move on? <shrug> No clue. It comes as a surprise to me. Perhaps I’m a little melancholy the journey’s over? It really isn’t. There are five more books in the series after this first one.

Well, time to roll up my sleeves and get busy on the next thing. Here are a few tried and true techniques I use to get “unstuck” and moving forward again:

Start reading the rough draft – Story ideas come when they please. I usually get them in the middle of the night in the form of a vivid dream. I’ve trained my mind to wake up and grab my iPad, so I can kick out a blurb or outline. If the idea is worthy of a full story, I crank out a crappy rough draft. Reading the draft after you’ve let it sit will help to inspire you.

Have More Than One Project On Simmer – You’ll never be at a loss for creative projects if you start several at once and have them at varying stages of completion. Then you work on the one you feel like doing (provided you aren’t under contract or deadlines)

Take a Walk – No story ideas simmering? Take a walk or go do something you’ve never done before to shake out a little inspiration. Visit the history museum you’ve been meaning to check out. Drive to a town in the country you haven’t seen yet. I guarantee you’ll find inspiration for your next creative pursuit.

It’s important to stop and savor the moment of success. You’ve just achieved a major accomplishment! Don’t, however, let it slow your momentum. Deep inside your creative brain another project awaits.

Next Month On DTJ – The Spooky Season is upon us! My next post on October 1st will be filled with suggestions to get you in a scary mood 😉

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