I will flat out tell you that I’m not a writer to emulate. Granted, I think I’ve shared a few worthy tips throughout this blog. But as far as my own process, I’d never suggest it. (I’ve been working on the same WIP for 10+ years and have only written two short stories in the meantime. #goals) Thing is, it has worked for me. That’s what I tell myself.
Previous Writing Advice Some May Deem Impractical:
-don’t set word count goals. ever.
-don’t set writing goals
-stay far away from NaNoWriMo
-don’t write when you don’t feel like it
-adverbs are absolutely necessary
-never give up on a project
Which leads me to my most impractical writing advice to date.
There is no such thing as spending too long on a single project.
If you’re already saying, “Yes, there is” hear me out.
To those who are new here, here’s some context. My wonderful writing backstory. I started my (one and only) WIP in 2008. (90% sure on this.) And now, in 2019, I’m still working on it. For one thing, it’s written. It’s a complete novel. It’s been through countless rounds of self-editing/revising. No, self-dissecting is more like it. It’s been beta read by some awesome people, and I’ve gotten some of the most helpful and encouraging feedback from these awesome people. It’s even been queried! (In an effort to be finished with it. Obviously, that plan failed.)
So why the hell am I still working on it? The obvious reason is that it’s still not on a bookshelf at Barnes and Noble. But also, this current revision-edit-dissection has been the best ever. And while I’m sure I’ve said that before, this time is different. Why? I’ll tell you why.
Because, finally, FINALLY, I can see this manuscript as others have. All these suggestions I didn’t want to listen to or these opinions I thought were psychotic. I see it now. You were right! Damn you all.
And it’s empowering! I’m seriously empowered.
But here’s the thing. This revelation took years. Even a few months ago, I wasn’t convinced of some changes I’m now making. Even last week, people. Last week.
So what does this mean for you? Why am I sharing this? Well, my impractical writing advise continued…if you are able to spend years on a project, then you should also spend years away from it. YEARS. That’s how long it takes to see everything as a new reader would.
Sorry for the rambling, incoherent blog post. Needless to say, I don’t spend ten years on these things.
In closing, I’m reaching the end of the 9847th revision of my WIP. I feel good about it. However, the ending chapters have the most changes that I’m now willing to make. I’m still walking uphill. But I can’t tell you how relieved I am to see the now embarrassing errors I once stood by.
This advice isn’t that insane, if you make one small adjustment. Yes, spend years away from your WIP. BUT write something else during your separation. Now that’s some advice worth sharing.