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At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 20th, 2012, 10:04 pm
by Amanda Elizabeth
I finished my book over a month ago and am currently editing it. But I don't want to. I literally have lost all desire to continue to edit it. I haven't done anything for over a week. Has anyone else gone through/is going through the same time of thing? I don't know how to find my drive again.

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 21st, 2012, 8:56 am
by Mark.W.Carson
There's a reason why some people recommend taking a break between a finished draft and more edits. Your mind needs a break. I'm about three weeks into my break, and I'm actually eager to jump back, but I won't.

For one, I've learned a few more things, and written a short story in the meantime, and my brain has had ideas for how to turn things around in edits, so I just write those down and wait for hiatus to end.

Do yourself a favor. Don't keep pushing. That leads to making choices you won't like in the future. Writing has to stem from a need and desire. If you force it, it turns black on you.

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 21st, 2012, 10:50 am
by dios4vida
Ho boy. All the time. :)

It's actually very common. We all go from "oh my gosh I love this WIP I can't think of anything else" to "if you make me look at this one more time I will put my harddrive in the microwave" and back. It's normal.

My advice goes along with Mark's. If you really just can't stand the book, then step away. We all need time away from our creative pursuits to recharge and refresh. Pushing too hard will just make you frustrated and your writing will suffer for it. Pushing to get done is all well and good, and sometimes you have to do that - but stepping away is just as important.

I'd suggest working on something else for a while. Write a short story, or plot a new novel, or take a sabatical from writing entirely and go camping or play a video game or plant a garden or quilt a blanket or whatever it is you like to do other than write. Read lots. Your subconscious will continue to chug along, and before you know it you'll be energized and ready to get back into the writing/editing world.

But don't fret. We've all been there. :)

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 21st, 2012, 6:40 pm
by LurkingVirologist
I second Brenda. Take a break. Especially between edits. I've probably taken two big breaks while working on my WiP (at least a month) and both times when I got back into it I was a lot more productive and a lot more flexible with my editing because there wasn't a bunch of inertia behind my decisions. I could pick it up fresh and not be afraid to completely axe a scene I'd spent days revising, because those days of tortured revision had been "a long time ago."

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 21st, 2012, 7:18 pm
by Mira
Boy, I know that feeling.

I echo what everyone is saying. Take a break. A long one.

Not only will you be re-energized, but like others here said, you'll see it with fresh eyes.

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 22nd, 2012, 6:34 pm
by Amanda Elizabeth
Thank you for calming me down. I'm going to definitely take all of the advice and let the book chill out for a bit. Thanks guys!

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 22nd, 2012, 10:23 pm
by Mark.W.Carson
As someone coming off a hiatus, I can say it is HARD. I've had dreams about what I should be writing, but I do think the side story thing helped me out. I got to focus on stuff "book related" that wasn't related directly to my book (does that even make sense?).

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 23rd, 2012, 9:41 am
by LizV
Been there, done that, and agree with all the above that a break is called for. In the long run, you'll lose less time to a break than to setting your manuscript on fire. ;)

I would recommend, however, continuing to write during your break. Not on the novel or anything related to it, but keep writing. It doesn't even have to be anything you'd consider for publication, just something silly for your own eyes only, to keep the words flowing. Writing is a really easy habit to break, and if you stop for an extended period of time, it can be very hard to get started again. Keep the writing muscles limber with regular use, and they'll reward you later on.

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: July 23rd, 2012, 11:40 am
by Sommer Leigh
I'm totally echoing everything already being said - I always step away when I start hating even looking at the thing. I usually take a break and do a LOT of reading. I read stuff that is very similar to what I've written and stuff that falls on the opposite end of the spectrum. Then after a few weeks I can usually go back with a clear head.

Re: At the can't-look-at-my-book phase

Posted: August 5th, 2012, 2:42 pm
by Shipple
Taking a break is actually supposed to improve your ability to edit.

By taking a break (and maybe reading some other works in the same genre), you gain more distance from your WIP and, hopefully, more objectivity.

If you jumped right back into editing, you'll still think, "Oh, I loved this part!" or "Yeah, that totally makes sense!" Taking a break can help you come back to your WIP with fresh eyes that can make all the difference between a great editing job and a mediocre editing job. So, you're doing the right thing!