The final draft is almost never the final draft. That's what I learned in the process of publishing PURE GRIT.
There are so many details! Copy edits can take several run throughs. Then there are photo captions, end notes, first pass on the galleys (which is an unbound printout of the actual book) second pass on galleys...
It's kind of like life, when you think you've finally learned a lesson, finally got it right--then it comes round again.
I sent in my "final draft" of my next book, FANNIE NEVER FLINCHES, this past week, I knew I would see it again and again over the next year. But I celebrated anyway.
I celebrated even though there will probably be unexpected hitches in the process. Sometimes books at this stage get bumped out another year. If I wait to celebrate until the day I hold the finished book in my hands, I'll cheat myself many times of the satisfaction and joy that come with a job well done.
It's kind of like life. If I'm always leaning forward into what's coming, I'm missing the joy of what's right here now.
So I try to celebrate as often as I can. Sometimes the celebration is a simple pause to bask in the reality of the experience. A glass of champagne is nice, too!
After I clicked send on the final draft of my book last week, I sat in my living room and relaxed. For a few minutes I had nothing to do. I allowed myself the space to enjoy being finished. Being finished without thinking about the next task on my to-do list. That is an amazing feeling!
Sometimes I celebrate by giving myself time to read a YA novel all the way through in one sitting. Lots of my celebrations usually include food and friends. Pastries anyone?
How do you celebrate? How do you mark success, large and small?
I'm fascinated to discover little-known history, stories of people and events that provide a new perspective on why and how things happened, new voices that haven't been heard, insight into how the past brought us here today, and how it might guide us to a better future.
I also post here about my books and feature other authors and their books on compelling and important historical topics.
Occasionally, I share what makes me happy, pictures of my garden, recipes I've made, events I've attended, people I've met. I'm always happy to hear from readers in the blog comments, by email or social media.