For the past couple of weeks, I’ve been pretty darned immersed in revising my picture book. People talk about which stage of writing a book we like best–early drafts, major revisions, final polishing. I’ll take any and all of those, as long as I get to a point where I can be and am totally immersed in that project. Where I go to bed thinking about it, wake up on the same path, and–whether I react with excitement or nerves–know for certain that this is the fictional world I’ll be stepping into today.
And then came “the end”–at least the end for now. The picture book has hit the email & the snail-mail, on its way to get critiqued by a couple of people in the publishing world. Despite the fact that I’m not querying or submitting yet, there is a wonderful wing-like feeling to thinking about the story out there, being seen, being read. And I’m letting myself enjoy that feeling.
In pretty much every other sense, though, I’m closing the door on the picture book for a while. I won’t be getting those critiques back until April, probably, and I’m going to wait to see what they tell me before I take the book back to my critique group. I’m also not revising a word of the story until then.
Which means, back to the other stuff. Time to shift gears.
In a way, the transition comes at a good time. My son is out of school for a week, which always throws life onto a different schedule. I’ve got some editing to do, along with prepping a few Power-Point presentation for a local SCBWI workshop series I’ll be doing. That’s the plan for the next week. And then, when my son heads back to school, I’ll head back to my historical.
I said that this is a good way to shift, in some ways. In another way, because I pushed these other things out to get the picture book done, they’re going to pretty much take up this week, which means I’ll be away from Caro & Chicago for that much longer. I’ll be away from the segment of my brain that thinks in terms of creating worlds with my own words. Sometimes, when you’re gone too long, the bridge back can look spindly or like it’s missing a few planks.
I’m thinking, to keep that bridge stronger, I’ll be getting back into my research during non-editing/powerpointing time. If I can’t write about Chicago in 1912, I can read about it. And immigrants. And automobiles. And photography. Obviously, research is its own form of immersion.
What do you do when you’re moving from one project to another, or when you’ve had to step away from the fiction altogether? How about sharing some tips in the comments!