I spent a while today feeling fed up. The children’s book I am editing was just not cooperating. I could not seem to get the voice right or the vocabulary right. It felt as if I was writing a children’s book for an adult audience. This is most likely because I have just finished the first draft of a new novel for adults, and my head was still in the adult space.
This is the problem with my process of writing, I suppose. I write in multiple genres, and after I have completed a first draft, I then take a break from it and edit drafts from previous “writing months.” This allows me to leave some time between the first draft of a new piece and its editing.
However, in that first transitional week from one project to another, I find that most of what I type is nonsense. My brain needs to shift gears before it can really commit to the new work.
It is a small price to pay, however. Taking a break between intensive (and exhausting) first draft writing is absolutely essential if I don’t want to get burned out. I love the editing process, it is so satisfying to tease and tweak and sometimes shove my raw content into something worth reading. It is like decorating the Christmas tree after the hard work of chopping it down and transporting it has been done.
Eventually, I took a break and did some household chores – it’s amazing how mindless activities can clear the head! Then I took a thinking break and really tried to hear my characters, see their homes and understand their motivations. It worked – I’m back in the zone and tomorrow’s editing should go more smoothly – here’s hoping!
All the best to you in your writing and reading this week!