Friday, February 27, 2009

Cleansing after Draft Number Two

Kathie Shoop

Well, I've finished draft number two of my latest historical fiction. Boy that feels good. I've sent a copy off to my trusted reader and now I can settle in and clean my house.

Not that I don't clean at all once I've saddled myself with a deadline and a goal to match--there are too many parents picking up kids from playdates not to clean regularly. But, once I finish a chunk of work I take a giant breath and exhale and then I CLEAN as though I actually would have rather been cleaning than writing every "free" moment of the past month.

In truth, my husband Bill and I have a larger home project on the back burner and I suppose that although the initial cleaning I did yesterday wasn't unusual, the next step in my housewifery work will be (I figure I have three weeks before I need to dive back into my novel). I'm about to start through every room and closet and thing that we use for closets and throw stuff out. Lots of stuff, so much stuff that we won't even recognize the bathrooms and bedrooms.

My husband is a problem in this project. He doesn't think he is, but it's true. He is a bigger pack rat than me. He subscribes to the "get rid of your junk, but leave mine alone," philosophy that infuriates spouses all over America.

But, this time, I'm kicking the clutter's butt and taking names--Bill's clutter included.

So how do you wind-down after a finished draft? DO you wind-down or do you just move onto the next novel?


Annette said...

Well, the last time I finished a manuscript, my mom had major surgery two days later, so I didn't exactly get any down time.

But I like your idea of doing a major purge. That sounds really cathartic. I'll have to give it a try when I finish my next novel.

Joyce said...

I usually use cleaning to procrastinate.

Can't figure out that sticky plot point? Hmm. I think I need to scrub the grout in the bathroom. Don't like that last scene? Well, the kitchen walls need washed down...

I either have a clean house or a completed manuscript--just never at the same time!

Jennie Bentley said...

Funny you should ask... I finished the ms for DIY#3 last week, tweaked it, and sent it off to my agent and my beta reader on Monday. I'm at loose ends. I do have to do some cleaning - 6-yr-old birthday party tomorrow, and I don't want the parents to think we're slobs; the fact that we don't have a working kitchen is bad enough - but I'm usually eager to get started on something new as soon as I finish a project. I know what I want to write, I've actually - for once - got it all outlined... I just can't seem to write it. After due consideration, I've decided that it's probably because I've been listening to Avery chattering for three months, and nobody else's voice is clear enough in my head at the moment. In short, I may need a break. It's a bummer, but there it is. Now I'd better go fire up the vacuum...

Dana King said...

I usually roll right from draft to draft. I take time off before the final draft (so I can look at it with a fresher eye) and after it's done.