One of the fun things about being in a few writing groups is that you get to hang out with other people doing the same kinds of things you’re doing. Last month it was NaNo, we were all obsessing over word counts, racing each other, and generally just having a good time.
Now that NaNo is done, most of these writers have turned to finishing their incomplete draft (50K words didn’t quite do it), or they are in the process of editing their complete first draft. Most of those writers shook their head at me when I told them that my NaNo draft went on the shelf and I had immediately started my next project.
Why am I shelving Summerton Blues for now? Because Stephen King is my hero. In his book “On Writing” he suggested that instead of editing a project, start the next one. When the second project is done, then edit the first. That process gives us some mental, emotional distance from the first work that lets us get far more critical and spot all the things we missed the first time through. Following this advice has made a big difference I’ve found in the overall quality of the work.
It’s also the same reason that I write a lot of draft posts, let them sit a while , then go over them before posting. A bit of time and distance does wonders for spotting problems or things that could be clarified.
Additionally, I’m not in any hurry to publish anything, unlike some NaNo writers (I’ve already seen a few popping up in my reader). I’d rather let Summerton Blues sit on the shelf for six months, work on a few things in the mean time, spend plenty of time editing it before even considering publication. There’s no hurry, I’ll take my time until I think it’s ready, the same as I will with anything else I’ve written.
So, I’m already twenty pages or so into my next project. I could talk about it but then I’d have to kill you. Kidding. But really, it’s kind of a surprise project, I don’t want to get into it until I’m closer to done. Until then, Summerton Blues can wait, it’s not going anywhere.