Feeling proud of myself for completing the second draft of my novel, I promptly stopped writing. For two weeks.
It was kind of like taking a vacation. There was some relaxation to it, something like a reward. I’ve accomplished something, now I can take a break. I spent my time doing other creative things, like carving pumpkins and making Halloween costumes.
And after two weeks, I felt like a total bum. I was still creating things, and I was still making money babysitting, but what was I living for? I had this vague sense of that question roaming around in the back of my mind: what am I doing with my life?
An interesting side effect was what happened to my writers’ groups. To one of them, I began submitting chapters from the completed second draft, and everyone else began submitting. Where before we had one meeting with only a single submission, suddenly we had a meeting where every single person in the group submitted. With the other group, about the time I stopped writing, the group began to fall apart. One meeting got pushed back two weeks due to low attendance, and then another meeting got pushed back, and where we had been meeting twice a month, the meetings dropped to once a month. And my blog, where I had been keeping up a steady post rate of 3 per month (usually all squished in at the end), fell to only 1 in October.
So I started writing again. I returned to a couple of short stories, one of which I had received several rejection letters for, and another I felt was close but hadn’t yet begun to send out.
I’ve received some feedback from my readers on the second draft, and I think I will be ready to begin the 3rd soon.