* * * * *During the busy holiday season I had much less time to write, and that was OK. I looked forward to January as a time when things would slow down and I could return to a routine. But 2014 has proven unusually busy so far, and while I’ve accomplished a lot on shorter manuscripts, I’ve had a harder time getting back into my chapter book revision-in-progress.
This is mostly due to my compartmentalized mind; if I have an hour to work, I will focus on a PB manuscript, short story, or blog entry. But if I have several hours set aside, I will work on a chapter book or middle grade novel. When I sit down to write, it takes me awhile to submerge myself into the mood/characters/setting of a longer w.i.p., which is why I prefer to work on longer works during longer writing periods. But with more short segments of time and less long segments of time lately, my poor little chapter book—who desperately wants me to pay it some attention—is feeling a bit neglected. (I did make some progress today, though!)
So my goal this week is to find simple ways to step back into a longer story, even if I only have short periods of time to work. I am a firm believer that writing can’t simply happen when it is convenient; it needs to happen when I NEED it to happen! So for this post, I thought I’d list what has worked for me in the past and see if anyone else has anything to add. Thanks in advance for any suggestions or words of wisdom!
Ideas for Stepping Back into the Story:
- Have a story board or idea board that showcases your current w.i.p.: main characters, setting details, helpful reminders—whatever helps you get back in touch with the world you’ve created. (Some writers also create a playlist for each w.i.p., but I need silence to write so I haven’t tried this one.)
- At the beginning of each writing session, review the last page or so of your previous day's work.
- Work on longer projects on as many days per week that you can. (When I only work on longer manuscripts once a week, I spend too much time playing “catch up.”)
- Another method that helps me to stay on course is to avoid reading novels "for fun" while I am working on a longer manuscript. I have done this before, but can’t do it right now—there are just too many great books out there! When I have done this in the past, though, it has helped me to really focus on my story. I’ve also read some great non-fiction during these times!
- Realize that you don’t always need longer segments of time to work on longer manuscripts, especially after you’ve gathered some momentum and are settled into your project. (This is the one I really need to work on!)
And now, some exciting news! Laurie Chance Smith, author of Snapshots: Focus on Nature in the Bible, is hosting a book giveaway! To enter, all you have to do is like her author page on Facebook, which you can do by clicking here. You can read my interview with Laurie here, and for a fabulous Young Reader Review featuring Snapshots, click here.
Good luck, and Happy Writing!