Thursday, March 11, 2010

Separation Anxiety

Now that I have printed out my hard copy of the WIP in Revision, I need to let it sit on the shelf for a week or so. Why? Because right now I can't see the forest for the trees. My brain needs a break. I need to shift my focus and look in another direction for a while in order to come back to the WIP with a fresh mind. I also need to take a break because I need to be receptive to the critiques I'll be getting from my CPs. I might want to rebel, but the truth is, I need to look at my "baby" with a critical eye as well.

But separating oneself from a WIP one's worked on for four months is tough. Here are some ways I handle the separation anxiety:

1) Try to finish the WIPs, writing work before a major holiday or break. In this case, Spring Break starts on Saturday. Now I'm gearing up for the break, a trip and getting excited about seeing my friends in North Carolina.

2) Plan to exchange work with your CPs. This way I can fill my need to read, but it's my CP's work and it takes me out of my writing world.

3) Read a craft book or take an online course while taking a break. This is a great way to prep for the next first draft and/or to brainstorm for ideas for the current WIP under Wraps.

4) Putter around the house. Do things you don't normally have time to do. Plan a gardening project or home project. Direct your creative energy elsewhere.

5) Catch up on your to-be-watched list (television or movies)

6) Plan fun events with your friends. Go for lunches. Shop. Visit cool places.

7) Catch up on your to-be-read pile (you know the stack of books you WANT to read that's next to your bed?). Fill your mind with other people's amazing, published works.

8) Celebrate the fact that you've finished another wrestling round with the WIP.

9) Straighten up the office, the work space, clear out the old clutter and free yourself for the next round or starting a new project.

10) Do nothing at all--don't have deadlines or schedules to meet. Just chillax' and put your feet up. Rest is good for the creative soul.

What are some of the ways you deal with your separation anxiety during the "shelf stage" of writing?


KarenG said...

Good question! I've been through it. You feel like you're going around with an arm missing or something. I like to shop, and to leave the house!

Gwen Hernandez said...

I usually find myself thinking up scenes for the next book. In fact today, I think I plotted out all the important moments.

Leaving my MS for a week or two definitely helped when I went back through it this week. And after taking a few more days off, I'll be able to go through your comments more easily too.

BTW, about half way through TFC and really enjoying it. I'm glad to finally get to read more than the first 50 pages! =)

Christine said...

KarenG: Shopping works! I love to putz around little places and just be surrounded by beautiful objects. A friend of mine always goes for tea at this special tea shop and then hits an antique store or two in the historic section of her town. Fun!

Christine said...

Gwen: You and I are tracking about the same. I am almost half way through the MS. I haven't started thinking about new plots yet. But I've looked longingly at my wounded warrior box of pages. The question I have to answer is which new story to start!


Ann said...

Shopping is good, but I like to cook. Takes me to another zone.

Christine said...

Ann: when my best friend visited me, we tried out three new recipes. I think cooking is like painting. A very creative outlet.