When you finish the first draft of that exciting, titillating, suspenseful journey of finishing that baby of a manuscript you create as a writer or you feel a sense of loss. Why? Well the mystery is solved, the villain is vanquished and all is … over. I actually slow the process when I’m nearing finishing, because I truly believe it’s my way of keeping my characters with me. Do other writers feel the same? Absolutely!

After I finish a first draft, I put it away for a month. What do I do during that time? Well, I start something new. I create a new adventure to live out within my head and put on paper for my wonderful readers to enjoy.

This gives me time to focus on something else while my former work is aging and I can look at it with a fresh and renewed eye. Most of all, I can read it again to see if I still like the concept enough to rework it into the butterfly it will become.

This year NANOWRIMO is the perfect tool for me to use to get back on schedule with writing the sequel to THE PACK (read more about that book by clicking here).

Every time I start on a new idea I get giddy and trust me, I have about 15 of them tucked away in a little folder on my desktop. It’s like packing my stuff and going on a new trip where I’m about to hobnob with exciting people – or even BECOME an exciting person 😀

Well doing this aging thing and starting a new project thing means that at some point, I’m juggling two writing projects at the same time. How do I do this – uh, it’s definitely chaotic, but keeps a fresh prospective on my work.

I stick to a writing schedule of writing for 2 hours a day. One hour in the morning and one at night strictly for the new work in progress.

I print out chapters of my previous work that has to be edited and rip into it while I am on my lunch break at my day job (you know the one where my secret identity as a writer is still unrevealed), at the kids games, riding in the car or going to the doctors office. Once a week, usually Saturday mornings before the young people in my home awaken, I make corrections to the previous work that has to get edited. I do this four times before I send it out to the first set of beta readers (test readers) where it usually takes me 1-2 months to get back feedback.

As a writer, always continue to write. It’s one of the best ways to get published and market your backlist of novels, short stories or any other written work you’ve created. And if you have trouble getting motivated – hop in on Nanowrimo and add me as a write buddy (lmpreston).

~ by LM Preston on November 1, 2010.

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