The NEED to write

Manuscript update: Today I’m starting my next revision of my current novel, and I’m excited and nervous.

It has been three weeks since I’ve written, and the longer it gets, the more antsy I get.

It’s funny, but when I’m writing, everything else in my life goes so much more smoothly. I don’t know if it’s the need for a creative outlet or what, but my brain works better when I’m writing.

I wanted to give my manuscript a little space between revisions, but it has been difficult not to jump right back in. I miss the characters, the story, the situations.

The best thing to do, I guess, would have been to start writing my next book while I let this manuscript sit, but I got busy with another project — non-novel writing — and haven’t had time.

Plus, I knew that writing another book would take me a few months at least, and I didn’t want to put this revision off that long and didn’t want to have to stop writing the new book so I could revise this one. But the stories of my future books are haunting me too. I NEED to get writing. 🙂

What about you? Do you feel the pull to write? How do you deal with it? Do you ever work on more than one manuscript at the same time, and if so, how?

Write On!


8 Responses

  1. islesam says:

    I’m struggling with something similar right now. Granted, this is my NaNoWriMo novel, and substantial revisions are in order, but it’s a struggle. I went through withdrawl after November. I had a love-hate thing going on, but I couldn’t imagine a day not submerged in the little world I’d created. Now, though, it’s a little difficult to jump back in. Sometimes I get super antsy & give it a try – then it pitters out. I tried laying down the plot and background for my next novel project, but I can’t stay committed to that while my NaNo project is so unresolved.

    So I’m stuck in this, “Well, then I won’t write.” stasis, even though I’m dying to do something. Trying not to force it though – it never ends pretty that way =/

  2. Yeah, Islesam, forcing it won’t help, and I know what you mean about not wanting to not write and the frustration of it not going well.

    I had a similar problem with my first novel. The middle needed a lot of major plot changes, and when I was doing my revision, I got totally stuck. For me, the problem was trying to see the big picture, how what happened in this one part affected the whole story. Like you, I also took a break and worked on something else, but ultimately, it didn’t help. I needed to work through the problems to come up with a solution.

    What finally helped me was making a timeline. I drafted out a table like a calendar then marked each chapter on the day it would have occured, i.e. chapter one on Tuesday week 1, chapter two and three on Wednesday week 2, or whatever was the case. By doing this, I was able to see how the smaller parts fit into the whole and I could more easily see what needed to be fixed.

    I’ll write about some other tricks in my blog post for tomorrow.

  3. mand says:

    I can drift out of the habit, but if i go cold turkey out of a period of writing daily, i get bad insomnia. I discovered this after i first began to treat writing seriously n give it ‘real’ work time, and decided to take a fortnight off (on the same basis of treating it like career – professionals take breaks).

    Seems i’m less of a professional than an addict. 😉

    But i rarely have trouble slipping little ‘day-trip’ diversions in between days of the main project. Perhaps because poetry and microfiction are such different experiences from long fiction.

    I’m suffering at the moment, on the last leg of the first draft of one novel, haunted by the ghost of the second. But i can jot down notes for the second without it throwing me. I don’t think i could actually produce wordage on two projects of the same kind, say two novels, jumping from one to the other. My plan is to get this first draft completed, then spend some weeks planning the other story, forbidding myself to look at the first. (Self-discipline!) And then decide whether to revise the first or start writing the second. Maybe it will be possible to revise one while writing the other – they do use different sides of the brain, after all. Some authors do, i know. Only when i get to that stage shall i find out if i can.

  4. Hey Mand,

    I think that’s it. Writers are addicts! Why else would we make the time to do this with no promise of compensation? 🙂

    I’m like you. I can take a day or two break, but much more than that and I start feeling antsy and aggravated. Plus, when I leave it for too long — like now — I feel nervous about jumping back in, like somehow I’m going to disappoint my characters or something.

    Sounds like you have a good plan for your current writing. I think I wouldn’t feel so anxious now if I had mapped out my next book in my down time. Oh well. I’ll remember that for next time.

    Good luck with yours.

    • mand says:

      Good plan it may be but that’s no use until it moves into the present instead of the future!

      It’s a relief to see that i’m not the only one who finds it difficult jumping back in, too. That reluctance feels like disloyalty but it’s not, of course, it’s a natural effect of taking a break.

      Must be the only addiction where people are encouraged to keep doing more instead of stopping!

      • HAHAHA! Very true! But as addictions go, this is a good one.

        And you’re right, it’s not disloyalty. For me, I think the reluctance comes more from insecurity. I’ve had great response to my book from critiques and my beta readers. Now that I’m doing the — hopefully — final polish, I’m nervous, wanting to make sure I don’t mess it up!

        Here’s what I should be telling myself: It’s ok. You can always do another revision. 🙂

  5. Andrea says:

    I totally agree that when I’ve done some writing, everything in my life goes much more smoothly. I’m better able to handle the minor day to day stresses.

    I find it hard to juggle different manuscripts too. I have one that is being critiqued by my writing group; meanwhile I’m working on draft #2 of another. It’s hard not work on the revisions for the first one as I get the critiques, but I’m trying to stay focussed on the second one, saving those wonderful critiques for time that is just for the first book alone. Of course, that means my ideas for a new book have to wait too.

  6. I know what you mean, Andrea. So many ideas and so little time.

What do you think?