Time away from the keyboard

I finally finished my manuscript, all 89,000 words of it. I had the assistance of not one but two professional editors. Yes, I had two editors look at my work. Why? I wanted feedback, lots of feedback.

I wrote those beautiful words “THE END” in the wee hours of the morning. My first instinct was to read the thing from beginning to right then. I read at an alarming rate of speed and could have easily finished it in a few hours time. My primary editor Judy said NO! not just NO, but H**L NO. I was to save it send off the three queries we had been working towards and walk away.

I whined and moaned for a bit but Judy was emphatic that I needed time and space away from my manuscript. So I reluctantly agreed. Did I stop writing? No, in fact I have many more works in progress. I turned my attention to a short story for an anthology. Then it was time to take a family vacation. This meant very little if any writing for close to two weeks. I did the next best thing reading, well sort of.

My husband and I were driving close to twenty hours across the country. Little did I know at the start that I was going to do the bulk of the driving. I grabbed my trusty ipod and added a few new audiobooks.(I only get unabridged versions.) ┬áThose of you who know me can guess that at least one of them was Brad Thor‘s Code of Conduct, and you’d be right.

The chapters came to life in my mind as the miles faded into the distance and I was transported into the novel. I even found myself driving more just to be able to listen to the next chapter. The driver is always the one in charge of the radio. I’d read Code of Conduct in about four hours the night it came out. Now it was being read to me, I couldn’t race ahead or speed past the wonderful details Thor puts in his novels. Code of Conduct got us to our destination.

The way home again found me with a different audio book making the miles fade away. Does this mean I haven’t even thought about my precious manuscript? No, in fact we made a slight detour to drop off a printed copy to a dear friend who offered to beta read for me. I chatted about my writing, I just wasn’t at the keyboard for hours each day creating or editing words.

Judy was right. I needed that time and space. Now I feel I can continue the process as I slowly but surely get feedback from beta readers.


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