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  • Writer's pictureJohn Lim

MF 256 : What do you do after you finish your book?

Updated: Jun 23, 2022

On this book writing mini-series wrap-up, I cover what to do with the mixed feelings you may have once it’s all said and done. More at

Moving Forward is also available on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher Radio, Google Podcasts, Spotify, and Amazon Music.

Part 1: Parting thoughts on the book writing mini-series

I’ve really enjoyed this series and sharing my process of writing a book. We’ve covered a lot of ground from April to now and I hope the tips and insights are helpful for you in your journey of getting your idea to page to published book.

Since there are so many pieces to writing a book, I refer you back to the wrap-up episodes from this past week: Moving Forward episodes 252-255.

Part 1: Getting Started, Part 2: Tools and framework, Part 3: Editors, Part 4: Self-publishing and marketing

[NOTE: the books mentioned in these episodes are out of print. For more, check out episode 388.]

Part 2: What now?

Back in episode 223, which first aired in April, I had just released my new book. As I shared on that episode, I was happy, elated and relieved the book came together and released on time. However, I also experienced a whirlwind of emotions including a little melancholy.

As you release your book into the world, you may experience a similar mix of emotions.

Know that it’s ok and completely normal.

You’ve spent a lot of time working on this book, sacrificing what limited free time you have to put your heart and soul into this. You may have given up nights and weekends with friends, family or significant others. And while you were always looking to the finish line, now you have only one question on your mind.

Now what?

This is a normal feeling after you accomplish any long-term goal, be it get an advanced degree, write a book or coming back after a long trip.

You’ve become so accustomed to working on this project and now you have to adjust to not having it be a part of your regular schedule and life as it has been for months or even years.

My friend and former guest, Kristin Wald, experienced something similar after appearing on the Home Shopping Network to promote her product. It was a dream come true that she worked long and hard to achieve but before she knew it, it was over in a flash and she felt a little down.

When I went through a similar feeling after the book came out, she gave me some sage advice:

“Be gentle with yourself.”

You should do the same. Take the time to enjoy what you’ve accomplished and allow yourself to feel the range of emotions, both happy and sad.

Take time to get reacquainted with the people who sacrificed time with you. Go out to a nice dinner or if you can take a mini-vacation. Do something that allows you to celebrate the milestone but also decompress.

Finally, reflect on what you’ve accomplished. You just wrote a book and put it out there! Do you want to write another one? Maybe one was enough and you’ve accomplished your bucket list goal. Or maybe you miss the process and want to write another book or have a second idea that’s itching for a book.

Ponder that question because now that you have one under your belt, you have the skills and experience to write another. Whether you do is entirely up to you.

[NOTE: the books mentioned in these episodes are out of print. For more, check out episode 388.]


None. Enjoy this time. Feel the range of feelings and know that it’s ok if it’s not all sunshine and roses. Once you’ve spent time with those close to you and yourself, consider whether you want to write another book or close that chapter and move on to something else.

Part 3: What I’m reading

Joyland by Stephen King (****). This was a fun read and a great change after immersing myself in business and investment books over the past few weeks. Over the past year or so, I’ve discovered an appreciation for King’s writing and his talent for character, plot, and narrative. Joyland follows a young drifter who drops out of college, experiences a painful breakup and decides to take a year off to work at an amusement park. There, he stumbles onto a long-unsolved mystery as he’s drawn into the world of being a “carnie.” The book is engaging, keeps your attention and is an enjoyable thriller with many great slice-of-life moments.


Scrivener (available for Mac, Win, IOS) is a book writing program that auto formats for self-publishing on Amazon’s KDP and other platforms. It’s a great tool with rich features that allow co-writers to collaborate through Dropbox. Scrivener has a bit of a learning curve but I’ve been a fan since 2017 and have talked to many authors who use it as their go-to. If you’re interested in Scrivener, you can use the coupon code MOVINGFORWARD to get 20% off your purchase (for Mac or Win). It’s a one-time license fee and available for Mac, Win, IOS.

Note: this section contains affiliate links and coupon codes for which the author may receive some compensation.

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