The Glory Writers has tackled the topic of publishing quite a bit, so let’s take a moment to talk about what happens AFTER publishing a book. Post publication blues: it’s a thing. After years of writing and editing, months of prep, and the whirlwind of release day, it’s not unusual to experience a subsequent slump. The little interim between projects can be a tough spot to be in. It can be hard to get back into drafting when you’ve been in an administrative mode for a long period of time; I know, that’s what happened to me last year. It was during such an interim that I embraced it as a chance to explore some of the opportunities that can forward our author careers, give back to the writing community, and refill our creative tanks. So are you ready? Let’s explore 7 CONSTRUCTIVE THINGS YOU CAN DO AFTER PUBLISHING A BOOK.
1. Try Something Short
Been working on a long novel for a year? Try writing some flash fiction. Maybe work on that short story that you’re going to use as a “loss leader” for your newsletter. When you’ve finished a book that has taken you years to create, it can be intimidating to immediately sit down and start the noveling process all over again.
Easing back into the game with shorter deadlines can be a relief, and give you the satisfaction of finishing while you’re preparing your next big project.
2. Rewrite Something
After months of editing and proofreading, it sometimes feels as if the brain has forgotten how to put NEW words on a blank page. Do you have a half-written novella or an old project that needs some overhauling? Try writing some new scenes for a project that you’re familiar with to get over that fear of drafting.
3. Read Some Books
When you’re embroiled in the final months of getting a novel out into the world, squeezing in reading time can be difficult. So during this interim, Instead of rereading your story five hundred plus times, try reading someone else’s story for some rest and inspiration.
4. Try A New Style / Medium
My sister, Tor, has started writing poetry and plays to shake up her creative muse, and I’m following suit! I used to write haikus, but abandoned the effort in favor of making all my writing sessions “count” towards publication. But I’m feeling the need to play again with writing, so I started experimenting with poetry and I’m really enjoying it – especially the fact that I’m writing in a notebook with a real pen, and not a computer. The unknown of discovery and experimentation can really unlock your creative juices.
5. Update Your Website
My website needed an overhaul with tiny details like adding my book to my site for readers to buy signed copies, new graphics, etc. While I haven’t finished, the process has begun!
6. Promote Another Product
I handle the social media for T Spec Fiction, the e-zine I run with my sisters. Since I was taking a break from my last book release, it gave me the opportunity to finish setting up a newsletter for Worlds of Adventure and start promoting it!
I’ve also been promoting the works of some friends, making graphics for an author, writing a book endorsement, and sharing about ebook sales.
Instead of feverishly focusing on word counts or getting so many chapters edited a day, outlining gives you a chance to tap into the root of your creative well and to start daydreaming on pages again. If you’ve been feverishly producing a polished product, it’s a good idea to start meditating on stories again.
Light a candle, get that playlist, sit somewhere quiet, and allow your mind to cook up stories with the total creative freedom of a child.
These are some of the things I’ve been pursuing these days. I’m giving myself till the end of the year to rest and recharge, to explore and enjoy.
There’s always a new year and a new resolution. There will always be another big commitment.
If you’re in your own interim period right now as a writer, I hope these suggestions will give you some guidance on how to recharge in a productive manner.