So, what happens when you’re elbow deep in a new WIP and your manuscript edits come back? Well, you drop what you’re doing, read the edit letter and the notes in the margins about your prose (several times because it has to sink in), and dive in to make revisions. Right?
Right. And that’s what I did. I rolled up my sleeves (not technically, of course, because this is winter and I’m cold-natured), I addressed the items on my revision list, and beefed up my work. And my lovely little WIP that had demanded all my attention before the edit letter came? What happened to it? I gave it the ultimate cold shoulder. I didn’t even think about it while I revised my previous ms. It became an it. Total shun, I tell you.
And now, three weeks later, with my first round of edits returned, I opened my WIP file.
Maybe I was expecting too much… I thought I would open the file and the story would race back through my head. I thought words would flow, adding to the tale I started with vim and vigor. But that’s not what happened. I opened my file and felt like someone blindfolded me, forced me to play dizzy-izzy three times, and dropped me in a corn-field maze. Alright, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. But just a little. At first, I was frustrated and then I realized, I was just… lost.
As it turns out, my reaction was my mind’s (and maybe my WIP’s) way of saying, “Hey, things are a little mixed up here. Let’s straighten this out.” I’m still feeling the love for my WIP, but I needed to clean house and get my proverbial ducks in a row before I could resume writing. And many hours and a few dozen crumpled pieces of paper later, I have a new and improved map for my WIP.
So what did I learn? Well, detours and reroutes are sometimes blessings in disguise. And taking a step back from the WIP revealed angles and information I would have otherwise overlooked. Getting lost might just be part of the journey.