I finished my WIP yesterday.
And I think most of it really sucks. Honestly. Not in a "I hate most of my work and think of myself as a hack" kind of way, but in a real, genuine, "there's plot holes all over this thing and I messed up some stuff here and there and it needs some serious work" kind of way. Which is frankly unusual for me. This is the first book I've written where the basic oomph wasn't there in first draft. But honestly, that's another post for another time.
What's at issue here is... I don't know what to do next.
I hate finishing projects. I mean, I love it, because there's a feeling of accomplishment and blah blah blah (although, again, not really feeling that this time because I know how much work the first half of the book needs.) But what do I do now?
What do I do NOW??
Seriously, this reminds me of one of my favorite Barbara Michaels books, Here I Stay. The MC hires a maid for her hotel, a rather slow woman named Mrs. Horner. And when the MC tells Mrs. Horner to clean a room, that's just what Mrs. Horner does. And when it's done, she just stands there, waiting to be given the next instruction.
And that's how I feel right now. I'm just waiting.
Normally I would leap into first-round edits, by which I mean clearing up the obvious plot holes I know I've left. I take care of those before I let the book sit, so when I go back to read it it's all there and I can really focus on the small stuff. But this time I'm so daunted by the prospect that I just want to...well, I just want to not do that.
But neither do I want to just sit back and relax. I'm not good at that anymore. I give myself a week, maybe two, before I start getting antsy and depressed and freaked out because I'm not working on anything new. (I'm like Andrew's Dad from The Breakfast Club: You've got to get out there! WIN! WIN! WIN!)
So that's it. I will probably spend a considerable amount of time rereading the parts of the new book which I actually like--and there is a nice big chunk of which I'm proud and pleased--to boost myself up for the inevitable tearing down. But I am at loose ends. I am bereft.