Monday, October 14, 2013

What Happens After the Deadline?

I recently completed my 51st book and sent it to my editor (ONCE A COP, for those of you who'd like to know--set for release in summer 2014!).  I thought you might find it interesting to learn what happens right after I complete a book.

No, I'm not talking about edits or copyedits, filling out art fact sheets, scheduling blogs and other promotions--not even writing the proposal for my next book (tentatively titled KIDNAPPED BY A COP), which I'll be turning in this week.  And yes, those are all things that come next.  But...

I'm talking about catching up on all those things that get pushed aside or glossed over when I'm hitting that deadline crunch.  Yes, I feed my family (or tell them where to get takeout) and run the dishwasher, I keep up with the laundry, I keep the toilets clean and make quick check-ins with my mom.  But those last few weeks and days leading up to typing "The End"?  Pretty much everything else gets moved to a back burner so I can get the book done, read through it one last time, and send it in.

So what are those things I do for a few days after completing a book?  Here are the highlights.

1.  Sleep in.  Only for a day or two.  It's a direct message to my brain that says, "Today isn't a work day."


2.  Spend some quality time with the hubby.  This may mean fixing a special meal, going out to a movie together, helping him with a project, or just sitting down and watching tv together all evening.


3.  Call my mom for a long chat.  My mom is a widow and lives on her own--okay, so she's a super busy, very healthy, intellectually vibrant and social widow, but I still worry about her.  She's also my best friend.  So when we share a phone conversation--unless she knows I'm working, or I know she's got a bridge game--we can talk for a longggggggg time.  It's fun to indulge and solve all the world's problems and laugh and reminisce together.


4.  Reclaim my house.  Housework is far down my list of priorities.  But a truly messy house can even get on my nerves sometimes.  So, I take a couple of days to vacuum (possibly my least favorite chore), dust, go through interesting piles of cards or catalogs or recipes or whatever may be gathering dust bunnies, deep clean the bathrooms (did I mention toilets earlier? I do love a clean bathroom <g>) and so on.  That kind of holds me until the end of the next book. (And hubby has learned that if something beyond the basic cleanups bug him, he is perfectly capable of cleaning it himself.)

5.  I binge read.  It's hard for me to read fiction while I'm writing it--especially if it's in the same genre.  I find the details get mixed up with my story, the author's voice may creep into mine, or--if it's a really good book--I find I'd rather read than get my own work done.  So I reward myself when I'm done with all that writing by reading a stack of books from my TBR pile or on my Kindle.  Here are some of the titles on my reward list this time.


So what do you like to do after you complete a big project?  Do you reward yourself?  Or do you just need
time to catch up on the rest of your life?  I'll give away an advance copy of my Nov. 19 release YULETIDE PROTECTOR (an RT BookReviews Top Pick!, btw) to one lucky poster.

Julie Miller

35 comments:

  1. Very interesting to know thank you.

    Before I even complete one project my head is already on the next. No rest for the wicked.

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    1. I'm the same way, Mary. When I'm about 1/2-2/3 of the way through my current ms, my head starts percolating ideas for the next one (the grass is always greener?). And I'd rather be busy than bored. :)

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  2. Cute Snoopy picture. That is how I feel today! After completing a big project, I take time to celebrate with a nice dinner out.

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    1. That's what the hubby and I do a lot, too, Tammy, to celebrate finishing a project. I love going out to eat with my family because we sit and chat more. We do that at home, too, during dinner--but it seems no one ever lingers. They take their plates to the sink, and go on to the next thing. Whereas, if we go out, no one is as eager to move on to work or tv, etc. It's a treat!

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  3. Ugh! I hate the pop-ups and highlighted links that are showing up on Blogger. Are you guys seeing them, too? That's new to me. Hope it isn't just my computer. Sigh.

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    1. No, I'm not seeing them...thankful! Hope it get resolved for you!

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  4. I'm doing a long project currently - went back to school and I'll be doing that for the next 3 to 4 years. But I still like to take a little time for myself, in between working full-time and doing school work, to have a little "me" time. I usually read a book or catch up on some TV. Just try to relax.

    Denise

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    1. Good luck with school, Denise! That's important to squeeze in some time for yourself when you're working so hard. You don't want to burn out.

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  5. After completing a big project I clean the house, make sure everything is caught up and then read for a few days (sometimes it's my TBR pile sometimes it's re-reading older books that I love). No TV or eating out. Just reading. BTW Congrats on the RT BookReviews Top Pick!!

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    1. Thanks, Renee! I was thrilled to see YULETIDE PROTECTOR got Top Pick!
      You sound a lot like me after a project. So what are some of your favorite books that you love to re-read?

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    2. I have re-read your books, Bj Daniels, Dana Marton, Paula Graves, Jill Shavlis, and Lori Foster. Every time a new one comes out in a series from one of these authors I usually start at the beginning of the series and re-read them through again. My Favorite books from yours are the Taylors (all of them but I love Mitch the most) and Police Business. But I confess I re-read them all. Love how the characters pop up in the books from the beginning. Makes me love the stories more. You get to see past the original stories to the new one with a touch of the old one intermixed.

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    3. I'm flattered, Renee :) You've got some of my fave authors on your list, too.

      And you'll be pleased to know that AJ from POLICE BUSINESS should be showing up in the book I'm currently writing. (I plan for him to, at any rate, I've just started) But his sister Theresa is the heroine.

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  6. That's a familiar routine around here, too.
    ~Angi

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    1. I think it is for a lot of writers, Angi. We just have to go to our caves and focus when we're writing, esp. around deadline time. ;)

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  7. Julie, I haven't had a big project in years because of my health - which I didn't plan on at this stage of my life! As soon as I became an empty nester 4 years ago, I had BIG PLANS! I was going to do so many things, and then things changed when health problems became an issue for me and I had to take one day at a time because I don't know how each day is going to be for me. SO, back when I DID have big projects, I was like you! When I worked 12-15 hours days, I was a lot like you and did some of the same things! Can't wait for the new book! Glad you can take a breather!

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    1. Hope you're getting some good news on the health front soon, Valri. And I hope you're finding lots of books to give you a welcome break.

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  8. After my big projects, I relax and read!! I love to read and read about 5 or 6 books over that week. Of course I do the norm of housework and taking care of the family too.

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    1. Sounds good to me, Lynne!

      When I'm binge reading, too, if a book on my TBR pile doesn't grab me pretty quickly, I set it aside and move on to the next one. Reading time is precious! Esp. when it reading reward time. :)

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  9. I do pretty much the same as you - sleep, relax, clean up, and socialize. The only difference is I do keep reading during the project. I'd be lost without a good book at the end of the day. I do stay away from anything in the genre I'm writing, though, to avoid intrusion on my own work. Thanks for sharing your rituals. :)

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    1. Thanks for sharing, Maura.

      I do read when I'm writing, too. But mostly non-fiction. Sometimes a play. Sometimes, my hubby's historical YA stories or critiquing scenes/chapters for my CP, Sherry James. But none of that is the romantic suspense that I usually write.

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  10. After a big project I take time for two of my favorite activities....reading and crafts. Love to crochet and make things for my grandsons...and there are so many great books to choose from to read.

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    1. I used to be more of a craftsperson, Brenda. I loved to sew. But I've just run out of having time enough to enjoy it. (And my machine needs to go into the shop now ;) I suppose working on the house (painting; moving pix around; etc. is sort of a craft hobby, but that's about it for me). Love to go to craft shows, though. ;)

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  11. Reading is my reward! I just like to relax with a few great reads to unwind. Spending time with nephew is a must too! :)

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    1. Sounds great to me, Colleen! I love that extra infusion of family time, too.

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    1. Is there something special you buy or do for yourself? I have a friend who gives herself either a spa day or mani/pedi at the end of each book. Something to spoil herself a bit.

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  13. Depending on how big or small and exhausting or not the project is, whatever comes next varies...also depends on whether i have time between tasks...but when i am finished I might go to a movie and lunch/dinner...sometimes i just stay home and pick up a book to read or re read ...sometimes I just sit back and listen to music, sketch, or do some scrap-booking...or if the weather is good I'll go biking.

    - Daya

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    1. Sounds good, Daya. When my son was little, I used to do a lot of scrapbooking. Then, as life got busier, that was one of the things I gave up. So many years of pix/mementoes just tucked into a book or boxes. I'm smart about labeling what/who they are, but nothing's been lovingly mounted in a book for some time. Miss that.

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  14. I haven't had a major project since I had an addition added to my house which contained a storage and laundry room but once that was finished I have mostly read and very little else.


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    1. Storage!! I'm envious. Wish I'd win the lottery, Ellen--then I have a whole addition I'd add to the back of our house, including lots of storage!

      Isn't reading wonderful? Educational. Offers escape. Relaxing or exciting, depending. Quite the adventure. Really makes you feel for those out there who can't read or who struggle to read well enough to understand and enjoy it.

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  15. Laura AKA Loves 2 Read RomanceOctober 14, 2013 at 8:46 PM

    I don't have a lot of projects but it does get crazy around tax time since I work of a cpa. At the end of April and October I always try to relax that weekend and not do anything but relax. My boss always takes a day off the day after April 15th. In October he always goes to Canada for a week to duck hunt. In fact that is where he is this week! I can't wait till Yuletide Protector! Say Hi to Maggie for me

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    1. I'll be sure to give Maggie a pat from you. ;)

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  16. I don't have big projects, just ones that need to be done on a routinely basis. I take care of my parents, go to work, and take care of the house duties. So, in my spare time at night or on the weekends at night, I read. It does relax a person, and lets them forget about what they have to do coming up.

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  17. Sorry I'm late posting-I've frittered away most of my morning trying to enter my books into the RITA contest. I imagine the office is swamped since the site isn't working right.

    At any rate... The winner is Brenda Rumsey!! This morning (with Maggie watching from his lap--so she's still part of the process ), I asked my son to pick the winning name. He's home from grad school for a couple of appointments today.

    So Brenda, just send me an email with your snail mail addy if you want a print book, or your email addy if you want an ecopy of YULETIDE PROTECTOR. And I'll get that to you ASAP.

    Thanks to everyone for stopping by. I'll be back here to blog next month. But you can catch me in other places, too. Check out my blogging/appearance schedule at http://www.juliemiller.org/contests_&_fun.htm

    Have a good one,
    Julie

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