I took a break from my Joseph story to finish the novel I’ve been writing for the past nine years. Yes. Nine. Technically, I finished writing it last year. I realized I needed to add about ten thousand words, though, and went back to work on it about a month ago. I’ve finished now and it’s with my personal editor, my mother. She’s harder to please than I am about my work, so I’m expecting a revision before I submit to an agent.
Oh, that’s right. I’ve got other stories stewing. So, how do I jump back into a project that’s been sitting, collecting virtual dust? It’s not as hard as it seems. Writers on Twitter or on blogs advise the necessary “step away” from a manuscript to gain some space for editing or a creativity boost when stuck on a plot point or character development moment. And it does help. The space gives your brain a break, but it’s not not working. It’s churning, smoothing out wrinkles, buffing the rough edges, discovering the loose, the shallow, the repetitive, and replacing it with tighter, better writing.
Writers are always writing.
Stepping back into my Joseph story is much like it was to step into my nine-year novel. It’s familiar, but am I connected? It’s not until I start reading through it that all the work my brain has been doing begins to bubble to the surface. I see images that need to be stronger and ways to slow down my pacing. My characters are so glad I’m back and they have a lot to say and do.
Joseph turns and motions for me to follow, to go back into the woods.
There’s so much more to tell.