I Finished My First Draft. Now What? {6 things you can do with your book}+I’M BACK!

So…you’ve typed those last words of your first draft. You’ve done it. After months of outlining, plotting, researching, and head-deskingΒ writing, you’ve finally finished that first draft.

Some may wonder what all the options are regarding what they should do with that book. Here are six different things you can do with your first draft.

#1: Celebrate!

I mean, you finished A WHOLE BOOK, FOR GOODNESS SAKE! That’s something to celebrate and be proud of. Even if you just go to the freezer for aΒ big bowl of your favorite ice cream, do something to commemorate this accomplishment.


#2: Edit it

I know this is probably a no-brainer, because most people go on to this step anyway. For me personally, I like to wait a month or two (or even finish another first draft) before going back to editing, so I can go back to it with fresh eyes. Just figure out whatever works best for you. πŸ™‚


#3: Send it to beta/alpha readers

‘Beta’ readers read your book if you’ve already edited the manuscript yourself, ‘alpha’ readers read it if you haven’t. These kinds of readers can catch things you might’ve never noticed about your book. Plot holes, inconsistencies, and so many other things that you might never pick up otherwise. Having a different set of eyes read your writing is super beneficial.


#4: Get the book printed

I mean printed into aΒ real book. In physical form. With your name and the title. With a cover you created. It would be a very satisfying feeling to have your book in that form, even if it’s just a first draft. You can get a copy or two printed onΒ LuluΒ for pretty inexpensive price. Maybe even get it spiral-bound for easier editing (if you do edits on physical paper πŸ™‚ ).


#5: Give it to a friend to read

The only thing better than having your manuscript in book form is being able to fangirl about it together with a friend or family member. πŸ™‚

Once you get over the terrifying feeling of someone else reading your book, that is.


#6: Start a new project

I’m sure you’re very familiar with this option as well. πŸ˜‰ I love it when I finish a project and have that free feeling to look over my notebooks of ideas to see which one inspires me the most. It usually takes me two weeks to a month to decide. πŸ˜€ And it’s happened more than once that I started outlining a project only to switch to another oneΒ and another, and another and another.


And there you go! Whichever path you choose to take with your manuscript, #1 should always be done first. πŸ˜› Writing is hard and exhausting, so reward yourself when you’ve finished battling your way through the tough first drafting stage. πŸ™‚


I’M BACK!Β (if you hadn’t noticed πŸ˜› ). I’m super excited to be back at blogging, and I’m loving the new design. Tell me in the comments what you think about everything; I’d love to hear from you! πŸ˜€ Each page (except for the ‘contact’ page) has a slight change, so feel free to explore!

Included with the new design, I have a new blog button. If you have my button on your site, I would be forever grateful to you if you’d switch it out for this new one. πŸ™‚


Also, you’ll see a new sign-up form toward the bottom of my sidebar. That will be for monthly newsletters and blog post updates. Kind of an exclusive thing with writing updates and such. πŸ˜‰ The monthly newsletters aren’t going to be going out quite yet though, but you can sign-up if you’d like to make sure you don’t miss the first one. πŸ™‚

Stay tuned for blog posts coming every weekend as usual. πŸ™‚

Write on,



blog signature new (3)

What do you like to do after you’ve finished a first draft? How do you celebrate writing accomplishments?

I finished my first draft-PINTEREST GRAPHIC.png

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  • Avatar
    Reply Covah

    Welcome back, Jenna! I love your new design – very modern and interesting!

    February 16, 2019 at 8:02 am
    • Jenna
      Reply Jenna

      Thanks so much, Covah! 😁

      February 16, 2019 at 8:19 am
  • Avatar
    Reply christineeyre

    Great post! I love that you listed “celebrate” as a first option–sometimes, we get so caught up in the whole writing process that we forget to celebrate the milestones and acknowledge that yes, we’ve accomplished something marvelous!

    Also, your website layout is beautiful! The menus and sidebars are easy to read, and all the pictures add a nice touch. The text for the post was just a tad hard to read–but on the other hand, I am very nearsighted, so that could just be me. πŸ™‚

    February 16, 2019 at 9:21 am
    • Jenna
      Reply Jenna

      Thanks so much for commenting! Yes, celebrating is important too. πŸ˜‰
      Thank you!

      February 16, 2019 at 12:20 pm
  • Avatar
    Reply Penny Wood

    AH I’M SO PROUD OF YOU!!!! Congrats on getting that first draft done!!! That is HUGE!!!! πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸ‘πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’•πŸ’• Good job!
    Are you going to do beta or alpha sign ups?
    Also, LOVE the blog design! It looks fabulous!!! πŸ˜πŸ˜πŸ‘

    February 16, 2019 at 10:28 am
    • Jenna
      Reply Jenna

      OH WAIT I haven’t actually finished a first draft, I just wanted to do this post. Sorry if I made that unclear! Thanks anyway though. πŸ˜‰β€οΈ

      February 16, 2019 at 12:21 pm
      • Avatar
        Reply Penny Wood

        Oh sorry!! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ My bad! I read it wrong!!!

        February 16, 2019 at 1:01 pm
        • Jenna
          Reply Jenna

          No problem. I probably should’ve reworded the title. πŸ˜‰

          February 16, 2019 at 1:18 pm
  • Avatar
    Reply Meredith

    Great post Jenna! The new design is super cute – I love it! πŸ˜„

    February 16, 2019 at 10:55 am
    • Jenna
      Reply Jenna

      THANK YOU! 😁

      February 16, 2019 at 12:30 pm
  • Avatar
    Reply Merie Shen

    I love your new blog design! And this post was great. πŸ˜€

    February 17, 2019 at 1:11 am
    • Jenna
      Reply Jenna

      Thank you, Merie! 😁

      February 17, 2019 at 9:29 am
  • Avatar
    Reply Aberdeen the Authorosaurus

    Mariposa says to tell you she loves the watercoloryness of your new blog design (plus, it’s blue and that’s her favorite color 😊). Also, I’m glad you’re back. I enjoy gobbling up your posts. πŸ™‚πŸ˜‰πŸ¦–

    February 20, 2019 at 3:05 pm
    • Jenna
      Reply Jenna

      Well tell Mariposa I said thank you very much. πŸ˜‰ Blue’s my favorite too. <3
      Me too! I'm glad you enjoy my posts. πŸ˜€

      February 20, 2019 at 3:58 pm
  • Avatar
    Reply Heaven

    This is a great post, Jenna! Those are some great ideas. This makes me want to do some writing. 😊

    February 25, 2019 at 4:42 pm
    • Jenna
      Reply Jenna

      Thank you! πŸ˜€

      February 25, 2019 at 8:54 pm

    I love comments! But please, be respectful to God and everyone in what you say.

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