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You return to your unfinished manuscript. It’s been weeks or months since you last touched it.
There were good reasons why you had time apart from it, you…
- Wanted to let it stew in its creative juices
- Gave up on it after a creative strop / emotional breakdown
- Grew weary with it #storyfatigue
- Were unable to climb out of a major plot hole
- Found life got in the way (it happens)
- Got to the point where you hated it
- Got distracted by something else (it happens)
- Became more interested in short stories
- Got lazy
- Questioned your ability to write
As you start to read and reacquaint yourself with your old unfinished manuscript you may find yourself having one or more of the following reactions:
1. Taking sharp intakes of breaths as you read.
2. Assuming the Cringing Writer Face – screw up eyes and hold page as far away as possible from you…
3. After reading a few pages shaking head in disbelief at the sheer randomness of your tale – cue ask a loved one “was I ok….mentally…a couple of months ago, when I wrote this?”
4. Smile followed by an air punch and maybe a “yea baby!” and get out of chair to dance – you are amazing and your manuscript rocks!
5. Loud sigh and reach out for red pen to mark up the typos. You can’t casually revisit something and just ignore typos.
6. Place your head in your hands after a few pages and start to wail as you realise the next draft is going to require some radical changes.
7. “Oooooh” sound – like, like, like, like! Cue the thought “why did I stop writing this best seller?”
8. “Ugh!” sound -hate, hate, hate, hate! Cue the thought “I am so glad I didn’t take this literary tripe any further”
9. Mutter to yourself “I am feeling desperate right now – surely things must improve after 40,000 words?”
10. Smile, sigh and say “I’m back!” in a happy and contented voice. You made the right decision to leave it for a while. Yes – there is still work to do but things feel good.
Hang in there writers, love your unfinished manuscripts