I did it! I finished my new book, The Sidewalk's Regrets. Well, of course finished is a relative terms. I've completed a first draft, anyway. I know it's sprawling and messy and sketchy and unfocused and I'll need to do a ton of revising, but I'm done.
I'm already bursting with revision ideas, but I'm not going to plunge right in and start working on it. I know I need some time away from it to be able to gain perspective. I also haven't read the whole thing in a sitting yet.
Sometime next week, I will sit down with a print out and read through, jotting down notes. Then I will set it aside until after the Film Festival when I will have a reasonable stretch of time to focus on it. I'll read it again and write myself a chapter by chapter outline. Then I'll dive in, trying to pull out of the raw material I have, something that works.
Then I'll start letting my critique partners rip into it.
I know revising is a long and painful process, but I'm actually looking forward to it. I know there's something in this story. It's raw and brutal and often painful, but there are some moments of beauty too. And I love the ending. I'm sure it's going to get me grief from some of my readers, but I still love it.
So now I'm going to go and relax in a hot bath with a book someone else wrote and revised.
How do you celebrate finishing your books?