Time to Put My Nose Back to the Grindstone

Well, after a month break from novel writing, I feel refreshed and ready to get back to some serious writing.  I finished my first novel at the end of November, and when I did, I had no desire to start editing it or really digging into another novel.

So what did I do for the past month?  I let my novel rest, although I did send it to my writing buddies that I meet with weekly, and the editor completed technical edits (you know, grammar, spelling, and such), which I have only recently begun to look at.

Did I feel guilty for taking a month off?  No, I felt like I needed the break.  It is a busy time of year.  Also, I have heard other authors repeatedly suggest taking a break after completing a novel.  Suggested time off ranges from two weeks to a month.  It allows you to approach the novel with fresh eyes and mind to edit and revise.

During my month break I did not stay away from writing completely.  I couldn’t do that.  If you follow this blog, you know that I wrote a short Christmas story that I read at our church Christmas service, because I posted the original on this blog.  I also did a couple of blog posts, did some planning and research for my next novel, and I read and studied the book Revision and Self-Editing for Publication by James Scott Bell.

I found Mr. Bell’s book extremely helpful, and it has given me great tips and advice and motivated me to begin the editing and revision process of my novel.

For the past two weeks, I’ve had no time to write as I prepared for our family Christmas celebration, and then came the celebration, but during this period, I was still studying Mr. Bell’s book.  I was also blessed the Sunday before Christmas, to be able to spend some time talking to our church’s associate pastor, who is also a writer.  He has never published anything traditionally, but has printed and assembled some of his poems and stories to share with friends and loved ones.  He is now 92 years old and still writing.  We have been talking a lot about writing over the past couple of weeks, and I have had the privilege of reading one of his short stories and offering him some writing tips, because, though he has been writing for years, he hasn’t really studied the craft and is not up-to-date on today’s publishing options and what editors are looking for.  I love talking writing with other writers.  I also love to encourage and help other writers in any way I can.

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and I pray that God will bless you in the coming new year!  I hope that those of you who write, will enter the new year feeling refreshed and excited to write.

Look for glimpses into my novel in the new year.

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