It’s the moment you’ve hoped and aimed for as you slaved away on your story, late at night while the family is asleep, or early in the morning before rushing off to work. Or, if you’re one of the fortunate few, this has been all that you’ve spent your time on, without the need for another day-job to pay the bills. Either way, it’s no longer in your hands. The publication date is set and the manuscript is at the printers.
So what do you do now, when you no longer have your book there to worry over and think about? You’ve gotten used to thinking of new plot points in the shower, or lying awake trying to come up with a better ending. You’ve actually enjoyed reading it over and over, snipping a little here, or adding a little there. But now there’s nothing more for you to do.
How are you going to fill those hours? Of course, you can spend time marketing and promoting your book. You can write blogs, review other people’s books, post comments on discussion threads that interest you. You’re so used to typing furiously away for hours, always looking for just the right word, that you take these temporary fixes where you can. But they don’t really fill the empty space in your day and in your heart, do they?
I suppose it’s a bit like when your kids move out on their own. There’s that sudden emptiness that fills your home. No need to cook extra-large meals for just you and your wife. One less bed to make each day. Nobody for you to ask to lower the sound on the TV. You've sent them off into the real world, and you hope you've done your best by them and that others will be kind to them and love them as much as you have.
If you’re like me, you’re too old to have other children. Those days are long past. But you’re never too old to start a new book. And, suddenly, there are no longer enough hours in your day…