When you've been working on a project for a long time, it can feel very weird when you click on Save for the last time and close the file and think, There, it's done. (Well, it never is, is it? But it's done until the next revision, or maybe when you work on it with the editor.) What next? A new book? A short story? A few poems perhaps? One part of your brain is urging you to keep the momentum going, get into something new, keep those words coming.
But this is the time you need to back away and go somewhere else, physically and mentally. Physically because if you're near your computer or your writing space, you'll start to feel guilty. Hey, I have a couple of hours spare today. I should go write something. I'm a writer, aren't I? And mentally because that book is still clinging to the inside bits of your brain like a big cobweb and it won't really let you focus properly on anything else.
My favourite place to go after a draft is finished is the movies. I love to let someone else's story and hard work sweep me away into another world. Watching a DVD at home is not the same. I'm still close enough to the laptop to start feeling like I should be writing, not wasting time on a movie. But at the movie theatre, I'm in front of the big screen, surrounded by sound, and I can just give it all up and dive into the story. I can't get up and wander away (I just paid to be here!) so I can freely indulge.
One place I've discovered is not a good excursion option is a large bookshop. By the time I've wandered around for a while, the sheer number of books on the shelves (they all got published, so there'll be no room left for mine) becomes mind-numbing and sometimes depressing. Even a nice strong coffee doesn't dispel the gloom. No, it's the movies for me. And this week I'm leaning towards Pride and Glory or The Changeling. It'll depend on my mood...