I had such awesome plans for today's post. This would be my chance to wax poetic about the scent of fall, the cool breezes tugging at my shirt collar and all that fall crispiness. But with the heat and humidity making everything, including the Kitten of Mass Destruction, all lethargic and blah, I thought I'd save that for a more fall-like day.

August was a blur with family gatherings, a visit to the parent's cottage and a lovely wedding in Ottawa. The weather was perfect, the couple were tipsy during the speeches and there was a pool on site at the reception. Very cool. If only I left the chiffon at home. ;)

But the real reason I'm writing today (and coming out of hiding) is because I discovered something while I took a wee break from novel writing: I missed doing it.

Not right away, of course. Right before the separation, I considered never coming back. Why? Lots of reasons: writing a novel is hard, getting published is even harder, staying published drives people to drink and then... Amazon reviews.

Yeah, I'd let all the darkness get to me. It wore me down so much that parts of me were shiny. And no, I don't have pictures.

After a while, I imagined not writing. Snap! Suddenly I'd have all that time I spent staring at the computer, attending workshops, reading books on the craft of writing, going to my RWA chapter meetings, taking part in fun brainstorming sessions... wow, it would have been like when I quit smoking: I'd have an extra three or four hours a day.

So I gave myself the month of July to think about it. And July turned into August.

And then the first YA manuscript started poking at me in the dark, whispering about how I could make it better. Then the second YA manuscript threw a hissy fit and told me she needed a simpler storyline so the hawt hero could spend more time with her.

Le sigh. It's hard to sit on a dock at the cottage and enjoy the scenery when you've got two teenaged girls cat-fighting in your head. So I promised them I'd think about it if they'd shut up already.

But I lied to them. I was enjoying my non-novel-writing life. Heck, I even read a few books without pulling them apart or looking at character arcs and motivation...

That's when a scene popped into my head. And another. And another after that.

Problem was, these were scenes from both of the novels--and the third one I hadn't thought about in months. Suddenly, out in the middle of nowhere, all I needed was a good pen and some paper. I cursed myself for not loading the manuscripts onto my 400-pound laptop, but at least I could either write longhand or just tap away without worrying about missing anything during the rainy days.

So even though I'm back to writing, I'm really back to rewriting. And that's okay. The time apart on both manuscripts gave me some needed perspective on which darlings can stay and which ones I'll have to kill.

When do I expect to have the revisions done? No idea. Let's just see how September goes with getting some words on the page every day.

How about you? Has stepping away from a project ever helped you?

Labels: , ,