and I think I might be starting to hate it!!

You were editing and/or proofing your WIP and suddenly flipped out? It’s okay. Calm down, and take a deep breath.

Did you used to love your book? Did you used to read it and think, “Dang! I wrote this? This is amazing stuff!”? Then I can help. You are experiencing what all writers eventually suffer: Work-in-Progress Burnout, or WIPB.

WIPB hit me with my first (written) novel, The Judging. I spent twelve months writing the thing and another six months re-reading, editing, tightening, and improving it from simple grammar fixes and word choices to examining plot devices and character development. By the 18-month mark, the thing made me sick. I struggled with it a few more days, and each time I opened the document, I dreaded the tiniest glimpse at the smallest word. Was the book suddenly bad? No. I simply needed to walk away from it. Take a break. Give it time to percolate.

If your book is making you ill, you need to take a break, too.  Here is my advice:

          ·          Walk away. Do not open the document for a minimum of seven days. I recommend 30 days if possible. You will come back with fresh eyes and a new appreciation for your handiwork.


          ·          Don’t ponder. This takes discipline. Those characters are real people in your spirit—when they start clamoring for your attention, ignore them. You must! They may not want to take a break from you, but you must insist. In the end, you will love them even more and possibly improve them with your new attitude.


          ·          Write. I suggest you pick up a different WIP and work on it a little, or write something completely new. Writing is like exercise – the muscle must be flexed regularly. Who knows, you might have another genius book in your hands!


          ·          Come back. When it is time to come back, open the document, and read it from the top. Pretend you’re a reader who has never seen it before. This is the most fun of all, imagining what someone who has no idea about your characters and plot would think of what you have so far! In this mindset, make changes and alterations that pop up, and you will naturally flow back into editing your WIP.

Okay, my friend, you’re ready. Don’t hate that baby. It was conceived in your spirit, and you will bring it full term with some patience and tough love.

Happy writing!

Ellen C. Maze

Ed. Dir. Little Roni Publishers

Home of Adult Vampire Sensation Rabbit: Chasing Beth Rider, the spunky C. Walker Adventures series for MG, The Curse of Yama, and coming in 2013, a surprising new YA fantasy romance, Dirt.