Monday, January 10, 2011

Knowing when to take a break from your WIP

As you know, I've been working like a dog on "The Secret of the Keepers". My goal is to get it ready for beta readers in a few months so that we can have it out by September/October of 2011. It's during these times that writers must persevere and push through, but it isn't easy. I love to revise, but I find that I'm not very time efficient, and often after 5 or 6 hours, I've only polished one or possibly two pages. I've worked on just the first three pages for a week now.

At this rate, I should be done before the next millennium.

I've got to work faster, and I'm starting to stress (which is never good for the creative mind). I vented about the situation to a friend of mine, and she suggested I take a break.

A break? Are you kidding? There is too much to do!

She's a writer too, and she contends that I'll be more effective with the time I put in when I'm not so stressed about it. Her big concern is burn-out. Now, that's a term that's used frequently in education (the average new teacher nowadays last only 3 to 5 years due to the stress of testing and excessive amount of work outside the classroom), and so it struck me as odd that she would use it for writing. After all, this is a project that is near and dear to my heart. This is what I do for me.

But as I listened to her reasoning, I came to understand she's right. I'm starting to dread opening up the WIP; I look at the flashdrive and groan. And so I'm taking a few days off to catch up on posts, organize some closets, plan for the summer, and try to catch up on laundry. Hopefully, by the time the house is in better condition I'll be able to speed the process along.

I've been working on the Kailmeyra project daily for over two years now. It was odd this morning not reading or writing at 5 this morning. Instead, I did the dishes and cleaned out the dog cage. I think I like writing better! :- )

When do you know it's time to take a break?