Let’s be real. Your first draft is a complete brain dump of your story ideas, characters, and plot. It’s not a flawless piece of work but it is an extremely important part of the writing process. It is the foundation of your novel and just as a home needs a solid foundation so does your story.
I am asked quite often – how long do you allow your work to rest?
My recommendation is to let your writing cool down for at least one week but no longer than one month. It truly depends on the person. You have to follow your gut when you sit back down for round two of revising your manuscript. The goal is to let your work rest enough that you come back to the project with fresh eyes.
If you’re not sure if it’s been long enough, ask yourself the following questions.
Can you spot segments that need revision? Then you’re ready.
Are the words blending together and nothing stands out? Walk away and try again next week.
I do set a deadline for my work’s cool down period. I am guilty of pushing things out and then losing interest mostly out of my own fears about the project. Giving myself a deadline forces me to stay focused and motivated. I need that push. My cool down sweet spot is about two weeks. Any longer than that and I am in trouble. Your job is to find out what works best for you!