When a Project Needs Some Air

This week we’re blogging about second novels. I don’t have a whole lot to say because, well, my second novel is on hold at the moment. I completed a draft of it earlier this year, and have been rewriting and revising ever since. But even with the input of my agent, editor, and beta readers, I’m still not sure if this is the novel I want to go out with as a follow-up to VINTAGE.

I got so focused on my deadline that I forgot to stop and let the project have some much-needed air. It reminds me of that scene in Tommy Boy where Chris Farley loves his pet so much he squashes it.

“Hello there, pretty pet. I love you… I killed it!”

So, to avoid crushing the life out of this manuscript, I’m taking a step back to let it breathe. And, while I’m at it, maybe I’ll take a few breaths, too. I tend to be a person that goes, goes, goes until I can’t go anymore. Recently, my body and brain said, “You know what? We’ve had enough.”

In the last couple of weeks, instead of running circles around revisions, I’ve been enjoying things like lying the hammock with my son, cooking up big meals with my husband, and taking friends out on our boat. Like this recent evening (see pic below) where I caught up with fellow Madison author friends. Since we all talked about books and writing, it counts as “work,” right?

Authors on a boat from left to right: Susan Gloss, Erin Celello, Michelle Wildgen, Susanna Daniel
Authors on a boat from left to right: Susan Gloss, Erin Celello, Michelle Wildgen, Susanna Daniel

Author: Susan Gloss

Susan Gloss is the author of the novel VINTAGE (William Morrow/HarperCollins, March 2014). When she's not writing, toddler wrangling, or working as an attorney, she blogs at Glossing Over It and curates an online vintage store, Cleverly Curated.

4 Replies to “When a Project Needs Some Air”

  1. I think air is very important. When writers are reluctant to take a break from a project, my example is always Joyce Carol Oates. When she finishes a first draft, she puts it away in a drawer for at least a year before she edits it. And she’s written over a hundred books, so obviously this hasn’t slowed down her career any. Sometimes people like the idea of a break, but they’re thinking of a week or two. That’s not much of a break, really.

    My solution is usually to have more than one project going, so I can take a break from one to work on the other. This approach might change if I had a boat, though. 🙂

  2. TOTALLY counts. Glad to see you’re letting the project and yourself get some air.

    And Anthony, I agree that my approach would change if I had a boat, too!

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