I love it when I get new stuff in, particularly if I have had a creative surge and a managed to get a whole heap of manuscript writing done – It’s always great when things are going well, it’s a wonderful feeling to make solid progress on something as complicated as a manuscript – but there is another reason why I like it and that reason is that I can now use it for further inspiration.
That’s right, that new stuff works in more ways than one.
I don’t read through my manuscript-in-progress every day. That quickly becomes impossible. It’s not a good idea in any case. The best way to see your work clearly is to shelve it for a bit so you can see it with fresh eyes and a clear mind. That said, it is – at the same time – important to read your work many times through the creative process to be sure everything is as it should be as you progress.
There are many chosen ways of balancing this, I’m sure, but when I have to read, I make good use of it. I read when I hit a problem, slow down or somehow lose my way, which is easy to do when you’re handling multiple threads, especially if you have been shuffling things around. That’s when I sit down and read through what I have created to date.
This practice of reading through only at problem times not only allows me to check how it stands so far, it also helps me get a fresh feel for the threads and weight and balance, but on top of that, it gives me a huge boost to continue on and often clears up whatever that problem was that stopped me in the first place!
That’s mainly because of the new stuff.
By the time I sit down to read it, all the fresh stuff that has gone into the work since the last time I read it through is – naturally – fresh. A lot of it has been forgotten, but most importantly it has not been read before. I get a real kick out of such a read through because it’s like a new book. I remember my last read through, I remember what I had, so “finding” all this new material frequently leaves me delighted. I cannot be disappointed, either, even if I bump into poor stuff. If something there is not up to scratch, hey, that’s good news, too, because I know that bit isn’t working and out it comes. Or I fix it. It’s all progress.
Most often, though, I feel inspired by my read through. Sometimes, if I’ve really dragged my feet to get going and don’t get to it until late in the day – then I find I’m so fired up I wish I’d read it earlier!
With every read through I also edit and polish, making both of those things a joy as well.
Does it get any better than this?
I read it after it’s all finished, too, of course, but in the meantime, it is during the problem times that I choose to read my own work. When I’m stuck, I use my own new stuff to help me over the hurdle and continue on.
In effect, these two jobs – getting through a creative pause and reading – are better combined because (for me) each boosts the other. The creative pause gives me the push to read and appreciate what I have so far created, and reading the manuscript gives me the prompt to get over the creative pause.
It’s a win-win.
What about you? How do you do it? Do you like to combine those things, too, or do you prefer to keep them separate? Are there other ways out there?
Yes, I’m asking. 🙂
Have a great day, everyone.