It’s not you. It’s me. Really. I swear it is.

Do you have a love/hate relationship with your book?


I have recently joined the Google+ craze.  Thanks to Laura Stanfill and her post about it, flipbacks, and socks.  I’m loving it!  As she mentioned, it’s definitely a place for writers to communicate and feel like part of a community. (You can find the link to my profile on the Author Links on the sidebar of my blog.)

Another important writing update from yours truly is the completion of my second draft of my current wip, Read Me Dead.  If you read my post about it on Thursday, you know I have a few test readers lined up for it.  And until further notice, I’m taking a break from it.  I recently posted a comment on The Pain of Resetting – Loving Your Novel…Even When It Hurts by Clay Morgan on Kristen Lamb’s blog.

Part of it reads:

I’m currently taking a break from the second draft of my work in progress. We’ve had issues. We have a love/hate relationship. By the time I get back to it, I hope we’ll be completely in love again, but we have to take some time apart to evaluate our relationship.

I posted this on Google+ last night.

It feels strange not working on my latest novel. Taking a break from it is bittersweet. I feel like I should be working on it, but on the other hand, I know we need a break to reevaluate our love/hate relationship.

I’ve had some amazing comments on it, such as :

I know that feeling. My novel and I have been off and on, but deep down, I still love the story.

…I’m reading through James Scott Bell’s book on Plot & Structure right now, and that helps. But, yes, when do I get back to the actual writing?

My answer was this : That’s the million dollar question. How long is a long enough break from a novel? I know I’m waiting to hear back from a few readers on mine, but do I continue to take a break from it when they get back to me? It’s difficult knowing when the right time is. I don’t want to take too long from it though. I’m afraid my love for it will wither.

How long is a long enough break?  Will, as I asked, the love wither?  Or will we come back to it completely happy and in love again?

I took a break from my first novel, The Double Dare Bridges.  I did 4 drafts of it before finally deciding to set it aside.  It still needs work.  I’ve yet to come back to it because I have a few other writing projects going on.

That’s another thing.  Do you start a new writing project while taking a break from your current novel or is it cheating?  Tamara Paulin has a fantastic article about that 10 reasons not to start a new writing project.  At first I thought, hey it’s hard not to write another project while waiting, but now, I’m seriously considering waiting to write a new novel until I finish, Read Me Dead.  That’s not to say I won’t outline and write short stories because after all, I still have a 100 word a day goal to meet.  I finished one short story and wrote out another one last night to keep the creative juices flowing, but the second story relates to a new series I’m working on next.  So, is it bad to start a new project while in the “taking a break” phase?  I guess it depends on who you are and how much you care about your current work in process.  I’m still trying to figure out what type of person I am.

I think taking a break is important.  But how long is too long?  What do you do in the meantime?  (I do have to proof my ebook, Piercing Through the Darkness, for paperback publishing, so I suppose I could work on that. ;))

I don’t want to lose interest in my novel because it’s one of my favorites, but I know I need to take a step back to re-evaluate why I’m in love with it and what I can do to make it better and more loveable.


8 thoughts on “It’s not you. It’s me. Really. I swear it is.

  1. I’m 1/3 of the way into a first draft on a new book draft, and I honestly don’t even mind that it’s taking my test-readers months to get back to me about the previous work!

    I’m also working on a large-scale painting that’s taking forever and looks really ugly right now. My paintings always look so bad before they get better. I wish I could start in the top-left corner and make it perfect, inch by inch, just perfection and then blank. But instead I get a big huge ick staring me in the face. Looming in the room when I walk by, trying to avert my eyes. I have to take breaks whenever I feel disgusted and tempted to paint it over and start blank again. If I don’t take a break, I’ll wreck it in frustration … so maybe that’s the dividing line between needing a break and not?


    1. You may have something there. I can understand that, and I believe that’s why I took a break from my first novel in the first place. My “fix” was only making it worse which in turn frustrated me. I’m going to go back to it, but it has to be the right time.

      And as far as writing another manuscript while waiting on test readers goes, I’m afraid I won’t go back to my current work in progress. I guess I’ll just outline, well try outlining, and see how it goes.

      Thanks for stopping by!


      1. I recently revisited my first novel, to give it another proofreading and to change the setting. I quite enjoyed reading it! After so much time (9 months or so), it wasn’t exactly like reading a stranger’s work, but I found I could appreciate the parts I enjoyed. And after two pages, I was completely sucked in, completely re-interested in a story I hadn’t given any thought to in months.

        So, yeah, you’ll likely get some distance, but you won’t fall completely out of love. 🙂


      2. That’s good to know. That’s the last thing I want. I want to be in love still 🙂

        I’m really glad you were sucked in and re-interested in a story you hadn’t thought about it a while. It gives me hope. The hope I need to take a break and re-visit it when I’m not so attached. Which reminds me, I should look back over my first novel and see what I can salvage. 🙂


  2. I can relate. The farther I go as a writer, the more I know that agents and editors need to be in love with our work, and that’s not going to happen if we’re not even there. A manuscript is like another person: when you’re in love you’ll know it.


    1. I’ve only had one story published before, but it was one I was completely in love with when I wrote it. You’re so right though. We have to love our work, and we’ll know it when we are. I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to get back to my first manuscript. I love the story line, but it needs work. I will get it right, and I will love the whole thing when it’s finished. 🙂 Thanks for stopping by!


  3. I took a long break from my third novel. Nearly four years. In the interim, I wrote mystery stories, which was really fun (I always wanted to be able to write something in a shorter form). Now I’m working on the novel again, and it seems to be the right time. I’m basically rebuilding it from the ground up, which I couldn’t have done right away.

    I’m reading Piercing through the Darkness, as I mentioned. I found a few proofy-type things. Do you want them right away? I was figuring on sending them when I was done, along with my more general comments. Let me know.


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