Post-completion let down...

This week, I finished self-editing a 92,600 word draft of a new book. Much celebration/relief! It’s both an exhilarating and a sad feeling when you write that last scene. Of course, this is only the beginning of the process of producing a book. 😉

I drafted it last year, did a first read through, then put it aside (as you do) and then came back to it in early February. The first page has seen n revisions; sometimes you need to write the whole story before you really know the best way to start the book.

This manuscript goes to the editor later this month. Next, I need to write the specification for the cover designer, then think about how and when I’m going to launch it, who I think would like to read it…

But wait.

I find I’ve lost a little enthusiasm. How strange, you may think. Completing a full-length novel is exciting, and it’s an achievement just to finish it. But I can’t settle to getting on with anything. I’m currently living in dither central. I think there are two things at work here.

Withdrawal symptoms
I didn’t know I’d feel so bereft. Writing in a book world requires obsession, possibly addiction. You know the characters, what they like, how they act and interact with their world. You’ve thrown vile things at them, put obstacles and betrayals in their way and cheered them on to deal with them and struggle through only to find another barrier to their goal. (Yes, writers are horrible to their characters.)

I’ve sweated hours over her adventures, her troubles, her victories, her fears, her doubts, her joy. It’s like I’ve lost a dear friend, a small death. The ordinary, Real Life, world seems so, er, ordinary.

Desperate for energy
Yes, it’s that old chestnut, needing to recharge one’s batteries. I don’t mean with food, sleep or fresh air, all of which are very good ideas. It’s more a case of clearing out your brain and taking notice of your desk, your cat and your partner. Listening to podcasts, spending some time on social media that isn’t book related, catching up on streamed programmes, or dare I mention, actually reading a book. And seeing friends in the flesh. Hopefully, they are still there. Really good ones remember to bring cake!

And this isn’t the time to draw up a detailed market plan or run a thorough analysis on your advertising. This is time off. As writers, we are mistresses/masters of our own fate and can step off the 24/7 world for a short while.

So I’m taking a few days to do ‘normal stuff’ and then I will pick myself up, stop wimping and get on with writing the next book.


Alison Morton is the author of Roma Nova thrillers –  INCEPTIO,  PERFIDITAS,  SUCCESSIO,  AURELIA,  INSURRECTIO  and RETALIO.  CARINA, a novella, and ROMA NOVA EXTRA, a collection of short stories, are now available.  Audiobooks are available for four of the series. NEXUS, an Aurelia Mitela novella, is now out.

em>Find out more about Roma Nova, its origins, stories and heroines… Download ‘Welcome to Roma Nova’, a FREE eBook, as a thank you gift when you sign up to Alison’s monthly email newsletter. You’ll also be first to know about Roma Nova news and book progress before everybody else, and take part in giveaways.

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