So, you’ve finished your first draft - hurrah, hang out the bunting, drink some Champagne!! You’ve spent months, possibly years, depending on how slowly you type/think, getting to this point. But, now what?
Things you are likely to feel:
Elation - unbridled, euphoric, happiness. All of the sweat, tears, cramped fingers, sore neck, and lack of socialising has been worth it.
Pride - even if you usually find it hard to give yourself praise, in this instance I’m sure you can manage it. You have done something awesome; you are awesome.
Shock - you never thought it would happen. You wanted to believe it would, but you never thought you’d manage it. Now that you have an entire book sitting in a Word document/Scrivener/million notebooks you can’t quite get your head around the significance of what you’ve achieved.
Excitement - you can’t wait to start editing. Your goal of having written and published a novel is within reach. You probably start to research editors and cover-designers, and think about what you should charge for your eBook version. You know you should slow down, because there’s still a long way to go, but there’s just so much to be excited about!
Sadness - you miss your characters already. They have been living in your mind, talking, moving, living their lives, every single day for months. And now they’re not. But, it’s okay, they are still there and you will talk to them again when you start on your second draft. Also, between you and me, you can still have conversations with them in your head - no one will know and, I promise, I won’t tell.
Fear - what if it’s not as good as you think it is? What if you read it and find that the entire thing is terrible and you need to start all over again?! You try to remind yourself that this is not very likely and, even if it needs work, a first draft gives you something to work on so it is better to have one than not to have one!
Things you should do: