My First Manuscript is Finished! What Comes Next?

Writer at WorkBy , @Writing2Day

“The best advice is not to write what you know, it’s to write what you like. Write the kind of story you like best—write the story you want to read. The same principle applies to your life and your career.” – Austin Kleon

Have you ever noticed how certain things seem to appear in your life just as you need them the most? Coming across the above quote was a powerful reminder for me at just the time I needed to see it.

It has been just over a week since I wrapped up my manuscript for The History of Grand Teton National Park. What a sense of accomplishment! After months and months of research, everything came together and the manuscript was turned in a few days ahead of my deadline. There were days when I definitely thought I’d never get done on time even though I knew I would never let that happen. It simply was not an option.  It’s taken me this long to de-stress and realize I don’t have to work on this every morning. It was kind of strange because I really thought once I finished, it would seem final immediately.

With Christmas upon us, it was out of one frying pan into another. “I can’t even think about Christmas shopping until I finish this up!” Voila, the shopping is done, the tree is up, and the dreaded job of wrapping has begun. Meanwhile, I’m looking forward to starting my next project.

As I was pondering which idea I want to pursue, I came upon this quote and it was like a really good “Duh!” moment. I haven’t exactly figured out which story I’m going to tell. But, I have decided that I’m not going to pick up on a project I had started before the opportunity to write the Grand Teton manuscript came along. Why? I was writing a book I knew I could write but wasn’t passionate about. The knowledge was there but not the enjoyment of writing. Working on it felt more like something I had to force myself to do.

I love to write, but what do I enjoy about writing? I love conveying what’s in my imagination to the written word so the reader (hopefully) feels like they are there. When I said I wanted to take a break from the normal 9 to 5 to pursue my writing, it wasn’t because I wanted to write web copy, blog for others, or offer up different writing services. I want to write a novel, or two, or three, or more! Believe me, there are at least that many floating around in my head!

Seeing this quote put things back into perspective for me. Now, I just need to figure out which story is calling out to me with the most passion. I think I can manage to ponder that while I finish the dreaded wrapping of presents.

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