I'm nearing completion of the WIP MS, and as I do, I find myself longing for some breathing room. I feel like I've been holed up in my room forever, turning down social engagements and trying to crank out pages. My head is so filled with this book, it's all I can do to write a damn grocery list, let alone even consider any other project. All I can see is this story and the characters in it, what they're doing to each other and what the heck is gonna happen when everything collides together at the end.
Part of my timeline for getting this novel produced is letting the manuscript rest for a few weeks between completion of the first draft and the first editing run-through. I plan to use those weeks to work on some short stories, sort of as a mental palate-cleanser. I've been in my fictional town of Bulton for nine months now, almost ten, and it's time to see new things and new places in my mind's eye.
Getting the first draft of this huge project off my desk is going to be a relief, and I don't want to start something that long again for at least a few months. I know, too, that I'm only nearing the end of the first step; there's going to be a thorough revision process, and I need to get my head wrapped around that concept before I start another lengthy piece of work, and figure out how everthing fits into a new timeline.
Now that I've worked writing into my everyday(ish) schedule, I don't want to stop. I used to take long breaks between spells of writing - sometimes months would pass before I would pick up something and tinker with it - but I can't even begin to imagine living that way now. I'm delighted at the idea of using the time my MS needs to take a few shorts for a spin. Imagine, a tiny little piece of writing, with hardly any commitment at all! A perfect study of the abbreviated scene, the focus on action, the striking images needed to ensnare a reader in 6,000 words. And something I can add to my portfolio to boot! Man, that sounds like fun!
When you finish a long project, what do you do to give yourself some breathing room? Do you jump right into the next long project, or switch it up a little for variety?