I just had the most rewarding swim. The rhythmic movement through the water loosened up a muscle kink that had been plaguing me. It also helped me (as it so often does) work out a bit of plot that I was stuck on.
My recent vacation to visit my family was wonderful. And despite my fears and occasional past experience, the break didn't diminish my interest in writing, but rather built up some new momentum.
Before, during, and since the trip, I've been working on carefully nailing down the story of the next novel. I haven't historically been the kind of writer who creates detailed outlines in advance, but I feel like I could be, and I want to try it this time. I think if I can discover the story in the pre-writing stage, rather than in the first draft (and the second, and the third), I can reach the finished version in fewer revision iterations and a lot less time.
As always, we'll see how that really goes in practice. But now I've waded in, and I'm gliding smoothly along.
Good Stuff Out There:
→ Competing perspectives: At Thought Catalog, Michael Malice advises Never edit as you write: "Editing while you write is like climbing down the mountain as you try to reach the summit. Get the job done first, and only then should you try to go back." Responding in Electric Lit, Lincoln Michel offers a different point of view: "Each path you take--choices of voice, structure, character, setting, etc.--alters your destination. Thinking of it that way, is it so crazy to take out a map and backtrack if you realize you are going the wrong way?"