I’m giving myself permission to rest. Well, not really REST rest, but rest from writing for a little bit. Don’t worry. Just a little bit. I’ve been feeling guilty about the two drafts I have that are 50% and 90% written and yet are still 50% and 10% UNWRITTEN. I need to stop with the guilt. I’m at a point with both projects where I need to stew for a week, or two, or three. And when a plot point comes into focus, I can make a note and then, when I am ready again, pursue it.
My family and I will be taking a vacation in the coming months, and when that happens, I’m going to really set aside everything and just enjoy the moments I have with my husband and son and just unplug, unwind, and relax. But, until then, I need a bit of time to reboot other areas of my life.
For instance, finally organizing those last couple cupboards in my kitchen that are lingering bastions of clutter. The ones I have been studiously ignoring in favor of napping.
Or, you know, I could also just keep napping. The sleep war continues in this household and the struggle is real, y’all. Nobody can fight sleep like a teething eight-month-old boy.
So, I’m going to focus on me, and my little family, for a couple of weeks. If writing or plotting happens, that will be wonderful, but I am not planning on it. Then, when the time is up and I can’t hold back the urge to write again (it never takes long!), I’ll dive right back in. I have a crazy goal to have both manuscripts ready for submission by this time next year. And, who knows, probably be at work on my next one once they are nearing completion.
Here’s how that projected timeline looks:
September: Tackle the pesky household and personal matters I’ve been ignoring since our son was born. Kind of like a back-to-school (but for grown-ups) thing, baby-proofing for our almost-crawler, and spring cleaning, all rolled into one. Or, maybe this is that infamous “nesting” instinct finally kicking in that I was supposed to get back when I was pregnant?
- Autumn months – Plot and write.
- Winter months – Finish drafts.
- Spring months – Get feedback (beta reads, critiques, etc.) and revise.
- Summer months – Final feedback and revisions, copy and line edits.
and then …. submit!
Am I crazy? Maybe. Could others do it more quickly? Definitely. But, for me, that’s an aggressive timeline. It’s worth trying, though!
I think it’s so great that you know you need to step back. I know that I get my best ideas when I’m not writing. It seems like everyone advises just write, write, write, but sometimes the best thing you can do is let a manuscript rest for a little while. And it’s so good to enjoy this time with your baby boy. I hope the sleep issues pass soon!
Thanks, Jenni! And yes, the odd thing is as soon as I gave myself “permission” to take a mini-sabbatical, so to speak, I ended up discovering a picture book idea, of all things, at midnight last night. Craziness.