This past snowy weekend I typed the last two words of the first draft of my newest manuscript…THE END. Yep, I did it. I finally finished my first draft! It took me approximately seven months to write the first draft, which I think is pretty good considering I also have a full-time job. I was extremely excited and posted about it on Twitter. All the congratulations began to flow in, but also some advice. The recurring guidance was for me to take a break from my manuscript for about a week or so. I have heard this advice before and actually think I did that exact same thing for my last manuscript, but this time it freaked me out.
Take a break from it? Why would I want to do that? I’m finally in the groove of writing the thing! What happens if I don’t return to it? I’m in a really good routine now, I don’t want to break from that! What if when I open up my manuscript after a week I realize it’s awful, like so bad it’s not fixable?
The day after I completed my draft I woke up feeling like I had no direction. The early morning hours are my writing time. What do I do instead?
Then I realized taking a break from my main project doesn’t mean I have to stop writing. Now I’ll have time to write some upcoming blog entries, maybe send off some more queries for my other manuscript, and if I feel so inspired, why not write a personal essay or a short story? I can write all the things I never seem to have the time to do.
Now the sky’s the limit. I just had to reframe my thinking and realize I’m not going to give up on my book, I’m just letting it sit so that way when I come back to it I’m refreshed. Then hopefully I’ll be ready for what I consider to be one of the hardest parts of the writing process, the revision stage.