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Do You Celebrate When You Finish A Piece Of Writing?

celebration jumpDo you celebrate when you finish a major piece of writing? I’m not very good at this, but it’s something I’m working at adding to my to do list.

Here’s why:

When I finish a major piece of writing, which might be just a draft or it might be another pass on a book length manuscript, I’m whipped. At least mentally, and sometimes I feel drained physically as well. I’m almost always surprised by this even though it’s happened this way for me for years, and I gather it happens roughly the same way for others.

The quickest way I know how to get back on track is to take a break and do something, almost anything, that isn’t writing for at least a couple of hours, and often for the rest of the day.

One of the best kind of breaks I can think of is a celebration.

Now, that doesn’t always mean a party. Some of the things on my celebration list include:

  • Buying a paperback mystery.
  • Going to the library
  • Working out – yeah, sometimes it’s a celebration, sometimes not.
  • Taking a book to my favorite coffee shop.
  • A walk on the beach.
  • A chat with one of my grand kids.
  • Calling a non-writing friend.
  • Doing something that’s fun in the garden, like planting a single plant.
  • Visit a museum or something like that.
  • Boogie boarding with the grand kids
  • Kayaking
  • A nap.



Of course, if someone wants to throw me a party, or I decide to, that’s okay too, but usually it’s something simple, or fairly simple. Some of these activities take little time and no money, others are more involved. No matter, I always come back refreshed.

How do you celebrate?

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{ 12 comments… add one }
  • When I finished my novel I had a glass of wine to celebrate. Then I called a bunch of people and told them “I finished it!” Even though they are non-writers, they understood that meant I was done with the first draft.

    The only crappy part was I was all alone. 🙁 Oh well. Maybe the next one there will be someone to celebrate with.
    .-= Elizabeth West´s last blog ..Conflict Schmonflict =-.

    • Anne

      Celebrations are important… and calling friends is a good idea.

  • Hmm. For short stories, I celebrate, if at all, by either posting them to my blog, or sending them to my blogging partner. For longer works, novelettes (7,500 to 17,500 words), novellas (17,500 words to 40,000 words), and novels (over 40,000 words, [the longer the term, the shorter the book]), I design a cover in Printmaster and print it out. Other ways I may celebrate: Go to a 12-step meeting; call a friend and brag shamelessly; eat chocolate; print out the M/S and stack it up neatly and just look at it; tell my kids; eat more chocolate; buy something useful that I’ve been considering for a while. But I think the best way to celebrate is to keep in mind WWIAD.

    I leave it to you, Anne and readers, to tell me: Upon finishing a book, WWIAD? Hint: IA is a famous writer.
    .-= jorgekafkazar´s last blog ..Tenirax, Ch V =-.

  • I’ve just finished two big projects and I’m taking the whole of today off and having a sort of holiday-at-home. It’s a nice treat after a month or so of full-on hard work. For shorter projects, I hate to admit it but I enjoy catching up on my admin and paperwork when I finish a project. Just ticking stuff off my to do list is fun. Or a nice cup of tea! 🙂
    .-= Matthew Stibbe´s last blog ..Useful links about writing plain English =-.

    • Anne

      Yeah, getting stuff off the todo list is a big one… I have some things I do daily but the rest kind of build up… I like days off at home, mini home vacations as it were… I can do some non-writing work, take a nap, etc. etc.

  • When I finish any writing, or batch of small writing projects, that takes more than 3 hours . . . I take a walk! It really lifts my spirits, sometimes I stop for an ice cream or coffee, but mostly I just walk and let the fresh air clear the cobwebs from my brain and stretch all those computer cramped muscles. If the weather is foul (like yesterdays torrential thunderstorm) I do some yoga stretches and make a cup of tea — and don’t multi-task while I’m enjoying it! 🙂
    .-= Paula Swenson´s last blog ..The Month of Blooming Flowers =-.

  • I usually celebrate with a cigarette and a cup of tea and then sit outside in the garden for a few minutes to clear my mind of whatever product or service I’ve written about (I’m a copywriter).

    • Anne

      Gardens are perfect for this… I both edit in my garden and celebrate.

  • If I don’t grab a drink (which may or may not contain alcohol), I usually just flop down on the sofa (or the bean bag on the porch) for 10 or 20 minutes. Pretty lame, I know. But it clears my mind.
    .-= Scott´s last blog ..Defining and redefining your writing goals =-.

    • Anne

      Scott, whatever works 😉

  • I don’t celebrate for short stories, but for a novel i do – I read somewhere it was important to have routines, so I have a bottle of champagne., an extravagence I can’t really afford.
    .-= erastes´s last blog .. =-.

  • After finishing writing articles for the day, I do one of the following depending on the circumstance:

    If tired and my daughter’s asleep or playing outside with her friends: I go take a nice nap

    If i’m still ok and my daughter’s out: I play some games online

    If she’s beside me and is lonely: we watch some old cartoons to brighten her day.
    .-= Robert Sanchez´s last blog ..Violent video games and kids =-.

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