After four straight months of daily work on revising my debut novel, I have sent it off to my betareaders and set it aside for two weeks. Part of this is practical – I am preparing for, and then attending, the Deaf Camp that I direct during that time, and I could drive myself crazy expecting myself to write, but that would be setting myself up for failure. And part of it is absolutely necessary – though I love diving into the world of my story on a daily basis, there comes a point where I have to step away and let it simmer. I am hoping that when I come back to the manuscript in two weeks I will have a clearer vision of what needs to happen.
Two weeks is a really short time for my “mental drawer” though; I am used to putting manuscripts away for months at a time while I am working on something else. Now that I am in the publishing process, this accelerated pace is going to be a challenge for a tortoise like me. I mean, I have been revising this story for almost ten years. I have become accustomed to the idea that I have all the time in the world to get it right. So the idea that time is running out, that soon I will have to stop tinkering and truly launch it out into the world is a little terrifying.
Fortunately, I can always fall back on the strategy I used when I was sending things out to agents and waiting months for a response: work on something else.