Survived the “in-between” period where I refused myself the habit of working on the novel each day.
It was so hard to stay away from it, but I managed about a month’s worth of not actually touching it. I worried the entire time that I would forget where I had wanted to go with it or that some freak natural disaster would destroy it. (wiping out the computer, the back-up disk and my hard copy)
Gladly, even giddily, I have returned to it for revisions. I’m ‘in love’ with it again, although I find I beat myself up over not doing this or that a certain way the first time. Ah hindsight…
They say writing a novel is akin to giving birth. Lately I find it’s more like trying to maintain a relationship…the chase, the lust, the love, the regret, the break-ups, the make-ups, the warm comfortable feeling of coming home.
Read “For Writers Only” during that time. Here’s what Ms. burnham has to say about it. So true!
“When you’re not writing you have plenty of time for fear.
Correcting galleys helps. Reading proofs. But that work is not ‘real writing’. Friends come up and congratulate you on your finished book, and you look back at them, savagely. You give a sickly grin. “Thank You.” You barely manage to muster the memory of manners, and you must forcibly remind yourself that they’re right – yes, yes, it must be good to have finished your book. In fact you remember how one day, it was. One day you put down your pen (turned off your computer) and thought with a surge of undiluted joy – I’ve done it! Finished!” And you were laughing to yourself because secretly you knew you still had weeks of playful work to do, editing, smoothing, polishing the sharp white stones. Or else you thought you’d use this freely flowing fine good enegy to start another work.
Instead in two days you collapse.”