It's been a bit of a rough week. I've been sick for a couple of days and being laid up has given me the time to think about whether I really should just keep shouldering on with my WIP or if I need to put it aside and stop hitting my head against the brick wall it has become. I've decided to put it aside. That's hard for me.
Everyone knows that putting aside your finished first draft for a time is a necessary part of the writing process. Some distance, perspective, a break if you will, gives the writer the necessary energy to not only see the flaws in the work later but to tackle them with the enthusiasm and energy required to make the book better. But leaving aside a draft when you're more than half-way through it? Isn't that giving up? Shouldn't I just keep chugging along despite the nagging voice in my head that says something is not quite right here? Well, I've decided to listen to that voice because I don't want to end up at the end of a draft really disliking this story because it isn't what I envisioned in my head. I want to return to this story - and I will! - with the same kind of enthusiasm and energy that I give my finished first drafts. It's a still unformed, unfinished thing but I do see its potential. I don't want to give up on it. Yet, that's what it feels like right now. I worry that I won't get back to it. Some other new, shiny idea might take over and seduce me to work on it. And there it will sit. Lonely, unfinished, unloved by its creator. Okay, I'm still a little sick so I'm getting a bit melodramatic but you get my drift.
In the meantime, to make me feel less guilty about this abandonment, I've picked up a manuscript that had gone on a limited submission about a year ago but both my agent and I felt the need for a revision. I wasn't ready to tackle it then (I was finishing the book that is about to go out on sub now) but I picked it up, re-read it and knew it was a solid, good book. I just had to heavily revise the first half. I'm excited about it. I've got ideas and enthusiasm. And doesn't every book deserve that much from their writers? So don't despair my poor, unfinished wip. I will return. Hopefully more excited about you than ever before.