I’m about to begin a cooling off period and it’s maddening! (This morning’s snow is appropriate, eh?)
Battle Scars (pt. 3) went to my beta readers on Saturday. The writer in me wants to dive back into chapter 1 and start revisions. The writer in me also knows that it’s wise to set aside a finished manuscript for a few weeks. Let it simmer. *sigh*
But my writers group has yet to hear pt. 3. I’ll be dishing that up to them over the next few weeks. Can I resist tinkering with the story and just soak in their critiques?
There’s a certain rhythm that I fell into these last 2 years. Writing (and revising) 5-6 days a week for 2+ hours a day has been wonderful. When I struggled to put words down, or thought there was just a puddle of goo on the screen, I kept going. It was thrilling to finish the first draft of Keeping the Family Peace (KtFP) in 2011. I wrote the 2nd half of that novel in 1 year; it had taken me 2 years to write the 1st half. And while I revised that story in 2012, I penned the first words of Battle Scars. I hit a new high, writing more new words in one year than I’ve ever written – 72,000+.
Now what? What do I do while I let Battle Scars simmer? I could:
- re-read the science fiction story I wrote years ago. For the last 2 years, I’ve been promising to resurrect Echoes of the Storm and work on revisions
- work on my income tax return
- read up on GoodReads marketing & promotion ideas for authors to spread the word about KtFP
- plot out a sequel to KtFP, which has been suggested by my niece and by friend Mary B. – hm… Does professor of medieval history Nick Peace get calls from a strange author trying to write a Third Crusade novel?
- plot out the sequel to Battle Scars because it is really calling for one…
Let me have another cup of coffee, watch the snow fall, and think this one over. Stay warm and have a good day, gentle readers.
Great piece, Char. And a familiar dilemma for all of us who write. I vote for taking a break from writing, at least for a few days 🙂
Thanks, Mary. I may have to wrap my hands with duct tape 😉
I agree with awriterofhistory: kick back for a few days and enjoy not having to write. Not for too long though, otherwise you’ll get out of the habit of writing and I know from experience it’s hard to get back into it once you do that. How about you give yourself a *weeks holiday*, maybe read a novel that’s been sitting around on your bookshelves for some time and which you haven’t had time to read yet. Or maybe seek out a new novel that’s caught your eye. Whatever you do, I do think you’ve earned yourself a break. I once read – somewhere – that even writers need to switch off their writing brain once in a while and simply relax. Beware though, relaxing is often when inspiration strikes!
otherwise you’ll get out of the habit of writing and I know from experience it’s hard to get back into it once you do that.
Exactly! It’s a scary thought. I will give it at least a week, and have a pile of books I could read, including 1 that’s due back at the library in a couple of weeks. I need to check out that list you sent me, too. There were some good ones in there. So many books…so little time.
If you feel like writing and you have the time to write, then DON’T STOP. You never know when you’ll have to take a break for reasons outside your control, so why take a break for artificial reasons?
You could write a crusades short story as a loss leader for Battle Scars.
Yes, we know about reasons beyond our control, don’t we? I’m playing this ‘break’ by ear and may not start revisions on Battle Scars but can easily see working out some plot points for a sequel. Bad thing is, I’m almost more interested in that than pulling out the SciFi story… And career wise, a sequel might be more effectual so I’d have a couple of books in the same genre. What a concept!
As for that short story… hahahahahahahaha. (Inside joke between Marie & writers group.) 🙂
I say read — writers need to feed/teach their muses by seeing what others are doing good and bad. Refresh the well. If you have to write, a little fan fiction might be the best thing, leaving the o-fics still simmering.
I finished off one novel yesterday and dove into another that I’d started a few weeks back, in a couple of hours yesterday (snow-day!!). I even read for 1 hour this morning before work because I didn’t want to leave the house in the dark after our 12 inches of snow. Figured I’d give the plows a little extra time to work this a.m.