Let it Rest

Let it rest.

We hear it again and again as writers–“Let it rest”–and each time we “let it rest” we wonder, right at the moment of completion, when we’re awed by our own brilliance, if maybe, just this once, just this one time, this particular piece of writing shouldn’t be on display for the world to see as soon as possible.

Hmmm. A little breathing room might have saved that first paragraph.

Last night, the hubby had to work through the night. Unable to sleep, I decided to take advantage of the extra time and write. Isn’t everybody in the perfect frame of mind to pen a blog at 3 AM?

Once I finished my masterpiece, that tiny voice said, “Let it rest.” Although positive my piece was ready for the send button, I took my own advice and walked away.

Things look much different at 8 AM. Last night, I was rehearsing my acceptance speech for the Nobel Prize in Literature. This morning, I saw a mess.
Are there warning signs that you should walk away and air out your writing before subjecting other people to reading it?

1. You think you’ve been extremely clever.
2. The subject matter rouses strong emotions.
3. Your sides still hurt from laughing over your own jokes.
4. You were in a hurry.

I had titled my wandering, blathering blog “Stick to the Point”.

My subconscious was having a laugh.

4 thoughts on “Let it Rest”

  1. Oh, my gosh…how true this is! DEFINITELY let your work “rest,” especially the short stuff that must go out quickly. You can spare that extra few hours! (Speaking from experience.)

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  2. Every writer needs to put some space between himself and his work just to let the work marinate. Seeing the piece, even a few hours later, will have you seeing it through fresh eyes.

    And I also do that with my ears. I use WORD 2003 that has a lovely feature called SPEECH. I let the computer read my work back to me.

    When reading your own work, you will invariably read over a mistake, whether it's a mis-used word (“hat” turning into “hay” because of a typo) or just not a fuzzt idea. You know what you wanted to say, but sometimes it doesn't make it to the page.

    SPEECH reads it out loud, warts and all. It says whatever you wrote. Listen and you will catch those errors.

    And when you are listening and you don't quite understand what you meant, figure your reader won't understand it either.

    Let your work rest and listen to it. Works miracles.

    Thanks for the refresher, Jackie.

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  3. Soooooo true. I'm editing tonight, only the fifth or sixth time through this manuscript, and for the first time I saw I had door lights instead of door lites. Also noticed I started a scene with an Altima, and ended with a Acura. Good grief! Let it rest, let it rest, let it rest.

    Madeline

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