Z is for ZZZ

baby smileBabies need 10-14 hours of sleep a day. If they do not get it, they are cranky and uncoopera… What? Yes, we are still A to Z’ing. During the coverage of the Mine Principle, we established your book is your baby. It needs a nap. Frankly, so do you.

One of the ways to bring up your unruly toddler manuscript to be a full-grown book is to be sure it is completely disciplined. We have covered a number of cogs in the machine to refining a WIP: editing, beta, deconstruction, cover… It was a lot of work. Time to rest.

You benefit from walking away from the manuscript because you fill the time with other activities which will change the way you view your work. To prove this concept, pick up anything you wrote more than a year ago. Unless you let that piece rest and reassessed it, you will find places where you can improve it. Even if you did, you still might.




At the end of the day, you are tired and have less energy to devote to tasks. This is particularly true when you consider the life of your manuscript as a day.

Once you have been over the book a dozen times in a month, you will have forgotten what the original was and what it looks like now. Stepping away will give you a better perspective.

For example, have you ever watched a television program where one of the cast was afflicted with a physical disease? At the time, you did not know about it. In the intervening time between the original airing of the show and syndication, you found out about the disease, the actor’s affliction and see all the symptoms in the episodes you are watching through new eyes.


The perspective shift is primarily due to what you do during your rest… even if you do absolutely nothing. Either way, the one thing you are doing for certain is not obsessing over your manuscript. Your mind lets go of the images of what you believe your manuscript says and becomes a blank canvas onto which you can sketch your book when you read it again.

You will be at your peak, the same way you would be if you woke up and picked up someone else’s book to critique. You are going to be fresh as a daisy by dropping all of your preconceptions, half-memories and goals.

Spores & Cracks

Once broken from its chrysalis, you are going to see either a beautiful butterfly or a moth with one smaller wing.

moldDuring the resting period, all the tiny spores you were too close to see on the manuscript bloomed. When you pick it back up, you find little patches of mold you are going to immediately want to scrape off. As it rested, the cracks opened a bit wider so you can see them (better, at all). You may even wonder who wrote it.

You may wonder if your beta readers actually read the book. Relax. You already know how to deconstruct.

The scraping is rather simple. Be sure to use a fresh nappy, wipes, powder and ointment.

Crack filling needs to be a balanced diet which feeds the remainder of the manuscript.


letter zOnce your manuscript is complete, take some time off. For all of those who claim they cannot take a day off, you actually can. Just schedule enough writing time (which is not assignment/WIP-driven) to mollify the Muse. If you are compelled to write, try something outside your typical style or genre.

Taking a break refreshes the mind, stimulates the imagination and keeps writing fresh and enjoyable.

Rest well!


How long do you let your works rest? Have you ever asked Who wrote this? What do you write when you are not working on a WIP?

Thank you for spending April with The M3 Blog blogging from A to Z for becoming a successful author.

#Hashtags: #AtoZChallenge #amwriting #hiatus

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  1. Z is for Zactly. As in this is zactly the type of stuff that people need to know. You should make an E-book of your A-Z posts as a writer’s guide.
    Bo Lumpkin recently posted..No EndsMy Profile

    • There are a number of you asking me to do just that. I think after my vaca, I may consider it. Great to see you today, Bo.

  2. Wonderful article. I am ready for a nap. It’s been a long month, but I enjoyed every part of the A to Z Challenge. It certainly got me back on track with writing after allowing a busy life to take over my writing time. It forced me back into the world of fiction, my favorite place to hang out.
    Have a wonderful year writing. Until our blogs pass again in the night, may you enjoy your journey of words. Happy writing!
    Kathy S. Collier-Mehl recently posted..Y is for Yay!My Profile

    • I am looking forward to returning to fiction. This was another wild year. I hope you retun to M3 before next year.

  3. The longer you work on a project, the more you lose objectivity. Taking a break from it lets you see things in a new way and is always beneficial.
    Binky recently posted..Ultimate Weight Loss PlanMy Profile

    • I am seriously hoping my time away from the blogosphere is going to bring me back with a better eye.

  4. I will be coming back by to read these. Boy…Have I been gone a long time. Fall can’t come soon enough.

    • You may want the ebook for this one. I am going to add in the bits which hit the floor due to word constraints.

  5. Wonderful and wise words, Red, and for no specific reason, I’ve been really tired today. No time for a nap, though, but I may hit the pillow earlier than usual! 🙂 Sending hugs and hope you are doing well! 🙂
    LScott recently posted..Missing PieceMy Profile

  6. Very interesting as always Red! 🙂

    Hope we both wake up refreshed and ready to powder the babies bottom!!! 😉

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin recently posted..Tuesday – Home grown terrorists fail to attack EDFMy Profile

  7. Oh yes. I know how much better my baby is after a good nap. I wonder who the heck was present at certain intervals. At others, my baby looks like a genius—ahem.

    I have enjoyed this A to Z challenge. I agree, this would make a fantastic compilation.
    tess kann recently posted..Flash in the Pan: GalleyMy Profile

    • I think there are enough votes for it to come to be a book. I know all of my babies have a streak of brilliance. Sometimes, I just have to peel enough away for others to see it! *giggles* xxx

      • And in peeling, we have to be careful not to cut too deeply. I’ve experienced what I call “editing the life out of it” and had to go back and put in parts from a fresher writing stint. On the other hand, if I had put in EVERYthing that first hit the page, the saga would be 1/3 longer than it is!

  8. what a delightful whole package this is, Red! You had me at A and I was definitely engaged all the way through xenopthalmic and yeasty and zzz….

    I 200% agree this is a great cliff’s notes version of the publishing process from start to finish and will do well as an ebook!!
    Thank you for the journey you escorted us through, with all the interesting sidesteps into the real world of authoring and publishing!
    Totally delightful, my friend!!

    BuddhaKat recently posted..Z is for… ZEITGEISTMy Profile

    • I am glad you enjoyed this trip, Janet. I know this is not particularly your cup of tea, but it was a great look into what I do everyday. 😉 xxx

  9. Thank you so much,
    I’m glad I made the time to stick with this particular A-Z of yours.
    I feel you have given me the additional encouragement I needed at times when only one other has understood what I’m trying to achieve.

    I hope you’ve enjoyed your recent holiday Red, I’ve had breaks but it’s been around 10 years since my last ‘proper’ holiday.
    I hope to have a good one after I complete the book….before the next stage of hard work begins. 🙂
    Phil recently posted..The importance of sharing.My Profile

    • I hope you get a vaca as well. I am off on holiday tomorrow, so I hope you have rested after persevering this A to Z. I am glad I could help, Phil. I will be here if you have any questions.


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