Writing Limbo…

If you read my post Tuesday, you’ll know that I finally finished my current WIP, and I’m now waiting for one of my “trusted readers” (ie. the poor sucker I conned into reading an early draft) to finish going through and giving me helpful feedback.

pic courtesy of Cheezburger.com

This puts me in a strange sort of limbo because for the past couple of months, I’ve worked very consistently on that one story, and now I’m not able to work on it anymore.

I’ve been debating about working on editing one of my older first drafts, but I’m not sure I want to invest that amount of energy in a new novel when I know I’ll be going back to my other WIP as soon as I get some criticism on it (should be back within a month).Β  I’ve also thought about attempting to write some short stories again; the last one I wrote was two years ago, so it would be a good exercise, if I can just think of a fun idea.Β  Or…well, those are the only things I’ve thought of.

My question to any of you writers out there who read this is, what do you do when you finish a draft? Do you immediately start something new? Go back through said draft? Take a long, much-needed break?

Published in: on January 13, 2011 at 6:50 am  Comments (8)  
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8 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Limbo ain’t such a bad place to be–so I keep reminding myself. I think we come to writing with such expectations and hopes that we are tougher on ourselves than we need to be. For me, I like to have a new “love” in my head long before the current love has gone away. It eases the transition from one to the other; gives the brain something to entertain, without the pressure to complete it. The note-taking process is also a breather for the imagination…all you need to do it think, to envision, not actually to write; it makes what you finally come out with a lot richer, I think. Sorry for the long-winded reply…. ;-} Lynn B @ skydiaries.wordpress.com

    • Thanks for the advice, Lynn! Usually I have another idea in my head long before I’ve finished my current WIP – it makes finishing it difficult, because I always want to jump over to the new, fresh idea. This time, though, I just feel like my brain has gone blank. Maybe note-taking is the way to go right now, then… πŸ™‚

  2. My experience: I finished the draft of my current WIP just before Thanksgiving so I had a big fun event to plan/cook/obsess for that made the time away from the draft easier. The problem I found was that taking time off hurt my daily writing routine, and after a few weeks I realized I was being totally lazy and had to drag myself back to the computer to work on a blog post or short story just to keep my writer-brain in shape. What I learned: distance from my novel is good–distance from my writer-self is bad. I plan to have a few short story starts ready for my next “beta-reader break.”

    Wishing you lots of great feedback on your WIP! Don’t you just love the re-writing? It’s soooo much more fun than doing those grueling first drafts.

    • When I’m working on a first draft, I always think about how much better it is to do re-writing, because then, at least, I’m not working from scratch. When I’m doing a re-write, though, I start thinking back to how much more fun it was to just create something…I guess it’s the whole grass is greener dilemma. πŸ™‚

      I definitely think you’re right about needing to keep working on something – I think I do need to keep writing, even if it’s just taking notes, or jotting down ideas. Something to keep the laziness at bay. Thanks, Windy!

  3. On to the next one. Never wait for a reader. I know it’s hard to move on, then turn back to the old work, then flip back to the new work, but I agree with the above post that the time off will not help your “writer self.”
    Keep writing daily. And good luck with your drafts.

    • Thanks, Peter! I guess I was just looking for an excuse to be lazy…but no such luck! πŸ˜‰ I guess it’s back to the ole grindstone. Thanks for the encouragement!

  4. There’s a reason why ballet dancers go to class every day…not much different for the rest of us who dance on the page….

  5. Hi Heidi,

    First off, thanks for subscribing to my blog about a month ago! I’ve been meaning to come see what you’re all about. πŸ™‚ Congrats on finishing your WIP! It’s always such a great feeling, huh?

    My advice is this: TAKE A BREAK. After I finish a draft of a WIP, I always let my mind take a breather. It’s good for the creative soul. You can keep the creative juices flowing through smaller outlets, such as this blog, or maybe even a VERY short story. But don’t be so quick to jump into something else, or else you might suffer burnout. Give yourself a couple of weeks before beginning your next endeavor.

    Good luck! And hope to see you stop by my hub again when you get a chance.


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