Friday, September 24, 2010

BENEFITS OF A WRITING BREAK


I’ve been kicking out manuscripts in four months stints for about 2 years. My goal is 3 months, but something always happens in the writing frenzy to stop my progress. Is it a bad thing? Nope, not at all.

WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU CAN’T FIND THE TIME TO WRITE

I always try to get a draft outline completed. That way during those times when I’m unable to write, but ideas are floating around in my head, I can add or change my outline. I also carry a notepad and pen with me to write down various ideas about the story that I’d like to add then I stick it up on my writing board with my outline. The last thing I do, is I print out the parts that I’ve completed and read it while at my kids sports practices. I do a sweep edit of plot holes and structure changes in order to remember what I've written and to keep the story fresh and always working in my thoughts.

BENEFITS OF STEWING TIME

The overall benefits of ‘active’ stewing time (I call it active because you are either expanding/changing your outline – which is easy and fast to do, or you are doing sweeping edits of previous written text) is that new ideas crop up that you wouldn’t have thought of if you were focused strictly on the outline you originally created. Truth is for me, I change my outline about 10 times throughout the entire process and mostly during the time when I don’t have time to write.

FORCED TIME OFF

Sometimes I force myself to step away from a Work In Progress in order to flush out new ideas and change plot points. Usually, I am actively working on my craft by beta reading someone else’s stuff, taking a seminar, volunteering in a writing related event, or editing a different manuscript I’ve finished.

Sometimes it’s good to step away from writing, as long as you go back to it :-D

3 comments:

beth said...

These are all great suggestions. Thank you.

Kelly Dexter said...

Stepping back from your manuscript can do wonders creativity and flow. I almost always find it helpful.

Julie Musil said...

This is so true! "Stewing" is great, and when most of my fun ideas pop into my brain. If I'm concentrating too much, I lose the groove.