Monday, May 17, 2010

The In-Between Time

Writers fixate a lot on the different stages of the writing process. We're starting a book. We're in the murky middle. We've Finished - YAY! Nope. We haven't. We're revising. And revising. And revising...

Until we finally send it off - to agent, editor or critique partner. It's gone. Out of our hands. It's this time, the time after we're done our project and before we start another that's sort of an in-between no-man's writer's land - for me at least. I feel a bit at loose ends without the weight of a project in process on my shoulders. At first it's not a bad feeling. Kind of like when you finished your last exam and it's the first official day of your vacation. The freedom! The endless days of nothing to worry about, nothing to do. Your mind is a nice, exhausted blank. You can finally concentrate on everything you've let go for so long. Eventually, though, I know the itch will start. The need to get back at it and tackle the beast of a story that is inside our heads. But, for now, it is a blessed quiet time.

Right now I'm thinking about all the things I can do around the house or with my kids that have been pushed to the side (and with a massive home renovation to get started on this year there are A LOT of things to deal with). I don't have a burning idea for a novel simmering in the back of my brain. All I have now is a niggling worry about that still neat idea that I have in a very rough half-draft written state that I need to go back to - but I'm not ready to deal with it yet. So it's easily pushed back. I also have a niggling worry that I'll never get another good idea ever again. But I push that to the back of my mind, as well. Right now, for a little while at least, I am officially "In-Between". That place can be a very good place to rest, rejuvenate, and concentrate on other things in life - like supporting my oldest daughter as she chooses which university to attend in the fall, like going to my son's Track and Field competition and cheering him on, like watching the Stanley Cup Playoffs, like going to a couple of movies with the family, like reading the stack of books I've been meaning to, like talking more with my mom - maybe even visiting her more often. Like living life.

In-between is not stagnant. In-between is a resting place on the journey forward. Hope all you writers stop there once in a while and enjoy a rest there too.


  1. I find that when I take a break from writing, after a while I just have to get back to it, with a great burst of energy. Resting is definitely valuable.

  2. Hi Caroline: Thanks! Not sure my family will let me 'rest' exactly but I am looking forward to getting other things accomplished.

    Hi Andrea: Thanks for stopping by! I'm hoping that I'll also be re-energized for my next bout of writing - and that I can't wait to dig in again!

  3. I'm hoping for some "in-between" time too in July and August. Think we can find some time to get together?

  4. Just arrived at the In Between Time. Ahhhh! At least for one WIP. I'll take a day or two and then it will be back to another murky middle!

    I loved the way you expressed that time when you're done, but you're not done, but you've got a break . . . a well-earned one. Now I'm off to soak in a tub with bubbles.

  5. I can't say I love the inbetween stage but it's a necessary part of the cycle. We refill our wells.And soon, enough we're back on the warpath.

  6. The in-between time makes me feel edgy and itchy. I have that feeling especially bad between the time I submit a proposal and the time I hear back. Should I work on the book I've proposed? Should I work on another proposal? Should I just go clean the house?

    Aaack. Decisions. I never was very good with them.

  7. Hi Jan: Name the time and place, girlfriend - I'll be there!

    Hi C. Lee: Only a day or two of rest! Wow. I feel like a major slacker. I'm not tackling the wip until June, I think.

    Hi Laura: I like the in-between time for a 'time' sometimes it's days sometimes weeks. We'll see how long this one goes on for!

    Hi Cynthia: Why am I not surprised that you get edgy if you're not writing? You and your indecisiveness (plus my own DD's lack of decision making on the university front) is inspiring me to write a blog post on indecision!