Thursday, August 23, 2012


I read an fb post by Anne Lamott the other day. I love her books and sometimes her posts leave me in awe as well, but sometimes I have no idea what she's saying or trying to say. This was one of those times, but it still gave me something to think about.
     The post had to do with how she feels about people who say they just completed a writing project and are moving immediately onto the next. I'm unclear whether Ms. Lamott was trying to say she liked or hated when people do this, or if that is or isn't what she does when she finishes a WIP. 
     It is common - and I think good - writing advice, that when you are done with a draft of any written work, you should set it aside for a time before looking at it again. For some people this means a few days or weeks, for others it is a matter of hours or even minutes. Going on to work on another project is also often suggested.
     In the case of a final draft or finished manuscript, is it best to go right on to the next project or take a break from any kind of writing? Part of my delight in completing the final draft of any work is excitement about getting to start on the next one. Even so, I usually, without consciously planning to, take some time off.
     While this happens to me sort of naturally, I feel it is something that my brain has to do. But as I've learned, any serious break or time off from writing makes it very hard to get back to it. The writing vacay can turn into a hiatus. I need a routine to keep my momentum and what little discipline I have.
     This will be different for every writer. Some need a solid break, some need to keep moving with barely a pause. The important thing is to figure out which type of writer you are and have a plan, so you have the right amount of energy and enthusiasm for your next project.

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