Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Giving Myself Permission to Relax

I’m over-the-moon happy to report that I’ve finally finished the current (2nd) draft of my WIP. Whew! Actually, I finished it almost a week ago and have put it away until next month. I thought that I’d be jumping for joy and reveling in my new-found free time, but instead I felt a little…crabby for the first few days after finishing.

I didn’t know why at first, but eventually I realized that I’d come to rely on my writing time and didn’t know what to do with myself. When I’m writing, just like when I’m at work or spending time with my family and friends, I know that I’m doing something productive. Something that I’m supposed to be doing. But after I finished this draft, it felt like I was just twiddling my thumbs and wasting time.

My first solution was to go to my To-Do list. For months I’ve been keeping a running to-do list for whenever I finished this draft. I would read it over whenever I started getting discouraged because it was nice to imagine a possible future where I wasn’t still writing this draft. The list got, well, ridiculously long. I think it has about 20 items right now, all specifically related to this current WIP. Some of the points include reading craft books, comp (comparison) books, moving everything over to Scrivener, updating different excel and outlining files I’ve created, as well as doing character journaling and more research. Overwhelming!

And yet, I now realize that if I’m actually going to put this manuscript away to let it “marinate” then I can’t do any of that. The whole point of this marinating exercise is to get the book out of my brain so I can look at it more objectively and I can’t do that if I’m tinkering with the ideas for the next month. I’m restless to get back to work, but in the meantime I’ve decided to be as productive as I can. I’m reading books that I’m excited about, blogging, and (maybe) starting to write a new YA contemporary that I’ve been thinking about for a while.  

A week into it, I’m finally beginning to give myself permission to relax and enjoy the time. I’m glad for that, but also surprised and impressed with my initial reaction to all this. Despite the short-term crabbiness, I love that I’ve gotten to a point where I need to write, need a project, and feel unsettled without one. I’d say that’s the definition of a writer and I’m happy to know the definition truly applies to me now.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Something to Look Forward To

I signed up for the Vermont College writing retreat this morning and I'm already so excited! I don't have too much coming up in the writing arena this winter (other than, you know, writing) so I love that I have a fun retreat to look forward to in the spring. Now I wish I could fast-forward and get right to March already. Of course, given the crazy winter that might be coming our way, I have a feeling I'm not the only one wishing I could just skip past these next few months! ;)

Here's to having more motivation to write!