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The Benefit of Leaving It Alone


What is the "it" I'm referring to in the title of this post, you might ask? Simply, your manuscript.

I'm currently editing Reaping Me Softly, which I wrote a year ago and was accepted by Omnific Publishing early this year. This latest YA novel is why I'm writing this post in the first place. You see, this is the first time I'm reading Reaping since I submitted it, which is close to six months ago.

As I sit down and edit, I'm surprised at what I've written. Some of the nuances of the story I've actually forgotten. I'm caught laughing at the right places and surprised when needed. In short, time away from the story allows me to appreciate it today with fresh eyes.

If you've just finished writing your novel, don't dive into the editing right away. Leave it alone for a bit. A week isn't too much to ask, is it? A month is even better. Six might be too long, but hey, if you can leave it alone that long then much better.

But what do I do during that time? You say.

Why, write a new novel. Start that other story bouncing around in your head. Not the sequel to your first novel, mind you. Another completely different story. I promise, when you go back to your previous novel, you will return a better writer and with fresher eyes. Your work will benefit because of the time away. You'll see.

Okay, break time over. Editing resumes.

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