Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hiding my writing

First you come up with the idea. Then you write it down. You read it, and you love it! It's perfect, you should send it out that very moment, right?

One thing I've trained myself to do is walk away after I write something. I may come back that same day and clean it up, but before I do anything else or let anyone else see it, I hide it in a drawer. Actually, it is on my computer, so I just close it and refuse to look at it for at least a month.

Then in a month, if I still like it, I begin work on it and share with my critique group. I can always tell when a story comes across our critique group that was written that day.

I find that I get so excited about things I often jump the gun. I'm not a very patient person. I want everyone to be as excited as I am at the very moment I am excited. Unfortunately, life has taught me that most people will not be as excited as I am at the same exact things that I am, and that is OK. Sometimes we have to take the time to get them excited, and when we do get them excited, it is because the time is right.

Putting my writing away helps me to be more objective. I often pull a manuscript out, read it and am so glad no one saw that but me. Other times, I pull it out, still like it and know I have something worth working on.

So what do you do when you first write a story?


  1. You have described my process perfectly! When I first finish something, I think it's great. Like you, I've learned to put it away for a while. Most times when I pull it back out I thank the stars that I didn't show it to anyone because what seemed great before now seems AWFUL! But every now and again I get something I think I can work with :)

  2. Debbie, that's what I did with my MG novel. I finished it back in August of last year but didn't look at it again until last week...busy with other things...and I realized that my opening paragraphs were too wordy...cut it down from 569 to 107 and submitted it to a contest on Query Tracker's blog. Now to start trimming up the rest of it. Nice post!

  3. Yes! I write a story. Then revise. Then put away. Then pull back out, determine if I still like it, and revise if so. Then put away. Then crit group. Then revise. Then put away. Then my SCBWI mentor looks. Then revise. Then put away. Repeat until published.