Every time I finish a new novel or novella (or even a piece of art), I sit back and take a deep breath. There always seems to be a swirl of many mixed emotions moving through me.
First, I’m glad I finished the project! Not that it’s a hardship – just the opposite! I love the creative process. But when I’m writing, sometimes I don’t know what is going to happen in the story. I feel like I’m reading the book instead of writing it! I always have a general outline to work from but sometimes a character takes off in a different direction in my imagination and, at times, it can change an entire part of the book. That’s creativity for you! So, lesson #1: give into your creative side and have fun. See where it takes you.
Next, it’s nice to have to have finished the thing, whatever it is. To see something you’ve put your heart and soul in come into existence is very gratifying. It gives you the energy to press toward that next book or art project, in my case. So, lesson #2: keep pushing forward into the direction of your goals and dreams then sit back and enjoy your achievement.
Also, I’ve learned about self-care. Yes, I can get so intense about my writing (or art) that I forget to take care of myself. That happened during the writing of the last few novels and novellas when I would write for hour upon hour without a break. Or only sit with my computer instead of taking time to be with family and friends, not giving myself much needed down time. The result was a tired body and mind. Now I have a creativity schedule. It helps me take some time for myself though I have to admit that sometimes I just want to keep going especially when I’m writing my newest story. So, lesson #3: make time for taking care of yourself, physically and mentally.
And finally, with each book or art project, I’ve learned more about the publishing and marketing of a product whether it is my newest novel or art piece. Just when I think I know this industry, something new comes along. But that stretches my mind and helps me to grow. It also enables me to help others that are new to this thing called creative entrepreneurship. So, lesson #4: share what you have learned with others and help them soar.