Finishing a draft of your poem, story, or book can be a very exciting thing. By this point, you have accomplished something that many people in the world dream of doing. You should be proud!
This excitement, however, will wear off, and you are quickly going to realize that you still have a lot of work ahead of you. Don’t let that scare you off, though.
The transfer between drafts is an important time, and you want to do it right. Here are a few ideas and tips to keep in mind while you stand between two drafts.
Go ahead and reward yourself for the hard work you have already put in. You did something amazing. Celebration doesn’t have to be a big party or an expensive dinner. Go buy yourself a candy bar you rarely get to have or get that fancy notebook you have been eyeing. Don’t let yourself go by without taking time to honor what you did. Each draft is a huge step of success, go and do something to show yourself you did a job was well done.
2) Take a break
When you finish a draft, it is a good idea to take a break from it. I am not saying you have to set it aside for a year (although some find this to be quite useful) but just for a day or week can help your mind be ready for it’s improvement when you come back. Go write something else for a little. You will be surprised at how nice it will feel to take it off your thoughts, like a vacation. When you return to your beloved piece of literature, you will be refreshed and ready to continue working.
3) Get feedback
One extremely important part of writing is feedback. The best time to do this can often be between drafts, when you have something complete for someone to look at. When you have just finished a draft, perhaps while you are taking a break from it, give your work to a trusted critique who can tell you what they think. Maybe find two or three people to share it with. Make sure you always listen to what they have to say, for they are a part of your audience. Take notes and try to see what problems people are repeatedly telling you. When you start working on your new draft, these notes can come in handy as you find things that need fixing.
Finishing a draft is no small feat. Make sure you are prepared for the next one. It is an important part of the journey that we take as writers. Go into that next draft well rested, full of eagerness, and equipped with a sword and shield given to you by a kind friend.