Calm Before the Storm


One of the most satisfying things in life is finishing the draft for a book or story.  The work isn’t done, by any means, but something (for me, the hardest part) has been accomplished.  You’ve reached a goal.  You did something a large percentage of the population has never done.

I like to start off with a celebratory libation, and then use the “time off” constructively during the calm before diving into the stormy rewrite.

It’s recommended to walk away from that story for some extended period of time.  Most people advise a month, although deadlines might force you to make it shorter.  Regardless, you need to give yourself a chance to create distance so you can return to the project with fresh eyes (as opposed to bleary and bloodshot from staring at the blasted thing).

But what do you do with that grace period while it lasts?  As a writer, you don’t want to stop writing.  Begin drafting the next book you have in mind?  Follow up with some research you realized could fill in details for the rewrite?  Work on some shorter pieces?  Dabble with a book trailer?  Read a book?

(I read anytime, but I do enjoy binge reading between projects.  It’s a great opportunity to really analyze how another author wrote something you like.)

Writing is kind of like housework and farming:  It’s never done.  So although this is an enjoyable hiatus when you remember there is a whole other world out there, you don’t quit writing in the meantime.  After all, it’s that darned writing bug that got you into this mess in the first place!

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