For once, I exercised patience after receiving critiques on my stories, long and short. Usually I keep digging at whatever I haven’t finished, hoping to reach the end stage before I start something new. This time, I glanced quickly at the critiques and then set the stories aside until I received the mental prompt to take another look at the critiques and revise.
Snow fell yesterday where I live but the calendar says spring so I’m thinking about what I’m going to plant and work on this year. I learned years ago to focus on one or two garden projects each growing season and not try to change the whole garden.
Revising and finishing a writing project requires the same patience and attention as newly planted fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Finally, I have to step back and let nature decide what thrives, what limps along year after year, and what dies.
In one of the workshops I took, the instructor suggested a writer should wait years before revising a long work. So much for the book a year required by publishing houses.
How long do you put aside a piece of writing before trying to wrestle it into shape? Or do you keep working on the writing without a break?