Finishing writing your novel makes you feel amazing. It’s more than just the simple accomplishment; it’s the end of a journey. Whatever genre you are writing, romance, fantasy, horror, action, it doesn’t matter. You have finished an adventure. You have saved the world, fallen in love, killed your enemies, and learned the secrets of the universe. Finishing your novel is like finishing a marathon. It’s not just crossing the finish line; it’s the months of training that were put into getting there.
After finishing a novel, you have some planning to do in order to get published. This is not that kind of planning. Here is where you are planning your future success. You mentally plan your interviews, practicing how to describe your inspiration. You practice your autographing technique, for the book signings. You think about what you are going to wear to really sell your image in the perfect way to complement your story. This isn’t about how you are going to get your book published. This is still a celebration of what you have done.
Your journey is over. All of the fear, excitement, passion, and love are gone. You are now stuck in the real world without the ability to write people’s actions to suit your own desires. You have returned to just your normal, sad, and ordinary life. Consuming large amounts of chocolate and wine is normal at this point, but not healthy. It’s time to get out in the real world again and find something there to love. Go for a run, get a pedicure, or take a vacation. Remind yourself that reality is not the worst place in the world to be.
This novel has been your baby. Maybe you carried it everywhere with you for months. Maybe you snapped it out in two days by forgoing eating and sleeping. Either way, you have devoted your heart and soul to this novel and it is time to let it out into the world. But what if no one likes it? What if the critics pick on your baby? It’s not actually that good. No one will want to publish it. Not only will you get hundreds of rejections, but also they will laugh at your insane belief that you actually wrote anything worth reading. Your plot is full of holes, your characters are unlikeable, and you never should have tried to do anything so ridiculous as writing.
You have gone through the highs and the lows, and now it’s time to get busy. There is no more time for premature celebration or fear. Editing and revisions need to be done. Research needs to be performed to find the perfect agent or editor for your project. Query letters need to be written and sent. The work is not over, it’s only just begun.