IWSG JUNE 2021: Let it Rest

Logo for the Insecure Writer's Support Group. Picture of a lighthouse with text reading "THE INSECURE WRITER'S SUPPORT GROUP"

Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!


The awesome co-hosts for the June 2 posting of the IWSG are J Lenni Dorner, Sarah Foster, Natalie Aguirre, Lee Lowery, and Rachna Chhabria! Want to join us? Sign up Here!

The first manuscript or two I wrote, I really wanted there to be a really solid, concrete answer to this question. Something that was provably right, as opposed to… just long enough to look at it with fresh eyes. One month? Two months? Am I doing this right? Awww, really?!! SIX MONTHS?!!!

Right now, my working theory is that you should let your manuscript rest at least as long as it takes you to write the next manuscript. Writing the next thing makes the waiting easier, and let’s be honest… were you really going to forget about the manuscript that’s just burning a hole through your desk drawer?

It took me a while to figure out that the manuscript cooling process doesn’t happen in a vaccuum. If you’re sitting there thinking abou the manuscript, it is not cooling. If you’re not distracting the creative part of your mind with something else, the manuscript is not cooling. Go do something else.

So, my ideal… at this moment… and still a work in progress… is to have the manuscript that is cooling, the manuscript I am writing, and the manuscript I am revising. That means that at the very least, I have to have two finished manuscripts and be working on the third. It’s not something I could have envisioned, right after I wrote the first one. (Or for quite a while after that, either.)

I’m not there, yet, but I think I’m getting there. I have the one that is cooling, and the one that I’m revising… the pandemic put a damper on the one that I’m supposed to be writing, but I do have a short story project I’m working on. I’m supposed to be starting an all-new project uhm… ah… right now? Yes. Right NOW. The pandemic has done strange things to me and my process from beginning to end.

On a related note, The Summer of Fiction Writing is starting over at Holly’s Writing Classes. The event is free, and so is this nifty Flash Fiction class.  (If you do wind up buying something, that is an affiliate link, but you don’t have to spend money to get in on the fun.) I’m hoping to get back into a more normal-ish routine by the end of the summer. I even set up a bullet journal progress tracker for the whole thing. (Yes, to go with all the other bullet journal progress trackers in my life.)


  1. Reply

    Great advice! I agree that just letting your manuscript sit there and not doing anything other than think of it, is pretty pointless.

  2. Reply

    Sounds well thought out, and very doable! I’ll wish you good writing time and lots of inspiration as you cycle through your manuscripts, and I’d love to hear how the system ends up working for you.

  3. alexjcavanaugh


    I only work on one story at a time, so I have no choice but let it call to me.

  4. Loni Townsend


    I hope to someday get there. Unfortunately, it’s turned into the manuscript I’m rewriting is now the one I’m writing and it’s never done to the point of letting it cool. Someday, though. Someday.

  5. Reply

    Cooling, writing, revising… I like that as an ideal. Not sure if I could ever maintain that balance in real life, but it’s good thing to strive for.

  6. Reply

    Your creative writing/revising process reminds me that we each find our own way into telling our stories. I can’t imagine balancing three different writing projects at the same time. Kudos to you! The most I’ve been able to ‘let it rest’ has been about a week and mostly due to external circumstance, rather than a plan. And, yes, I agree the pandemic has affected how we write. I’m still grateful we have our writing to nourish. As they say, extroverts are climbing up the walls during pandemic, while introverts are happily working away on projects. Maybe writing projects! All the best!

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