What to do When you’re “In-Between” Writing Projects

We’ve all heard the phrase, someone who says they are “in-between” jobs. But what about writers who are “in-between” writing projects?

I just finished a short story I’ve been working on for a few months. For the new couple of weeks, I’ll be taking a break from that story, while my long-time friend reads it for me. Once she gives me her feedback, I’ll be able to rewrite/revise the story with fresh eyes.

That means, for now, I’m not writing anything.

It’s good to step back from a piece after you’ve been working on it for a while. But without a current work-in-progress, I’m a little unsure of the next step.

I certainly have a few options:

A Writing Hiatus
The first option is to take a break from writing altogether and maintain my current status of “Not Writing Anything.”  I could make more time in my day for reading. Breaking Bad is on TV again, I can certainly fill some time with that. While a short break from writing might be nice, I know that not writing usually does more harm than good. It’s better to keep writing, than to stop and try to get back into the routine.

Something Old
We all have unfinished writing projects – some of us have many stories waiting to be revisited. I’ve been toying with the idea of blowing the dust off the old novel. I’ve grown so much as a writer since I first began writing it, I know that a rewrite will make it even better, but the idea of reworking my novel is so daunting I’ve been putting it off!

In the few months my novel has been sitting dormant, I’ve penned a few short stories – some that were just for fun (or, as I like to think of it, practice) that I won’t necessarily continue to work on, and others that I will. Should I put these shorter works on the back burner and bring my novel back to the forefront, or focus on the shorter pieces?

Something New
Another option is to start a brand new project. I could start off fresh, open a brand new word document and start typing. This might be a good time to pursue those ideas that have been lurking in the back of my mind for a while that I haven’t yet tried to put onto paper.

Free Write
Natalie Goldberg says, “You have to give yourself the space to write a lot without a destination.” Maybe the best idea is to simply write without any end result in mind. I could simply find a clean page in my notebook and see where it takes me.

I have options, I’m not sure which one to take!

What do you do when you don’t have a work-in-progress? Do you take time off from writing or start a new project?

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4 thoughts on “What to do When you’re “In-Between” Writing Projects

  1. I have been looking forward to finishing the current draft of my book so I can have some free writing time. I have a few stories I’m planning on polishing up and resubmitting during the break. I really like the idea of starting with a fresh page and seeing where the story takes me.

    • Free writing sounds like a great idea. Maybe that’s better than committing to any one project for right now!
      Good luck with finishing the draft of your book and submitting your stories!

  2. I take time off now and then, even when it’s unrelated to writer’s block. I think it’s important to have more than one project in the works (a few writers I know do not), because it helps work all kinds of mental muscles. Listen to your heart. If you don’t feel like visiting the old or starting something new, give yourself a break. You’ll return to your projects refreshed and ready.

    • I agree that it’s important to have more than one project going at a time. Thanks for the advice – a break and maybe some free writing sounds like the best idea right now!
      Thanks for stopping by!

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