This summer, the family took a road trip to several state and national parks in New Hampshire and Maine. None of us had every been. It felt like an extension of our time in the Smokey Mountains over Spring Break back in April. When you don’t want to catch COVID, avoid people by going to giant parks.
I often experience some of my best inspiration and motivation to write while on vacation. It makes me wonder how productive I would be as a writer without a pesky day job. (There’s also that pesky income that comes with the day job.)
Unfortunately, this was not one of those trips where I was inspired to write. Instead, I was inspired to edit. I furiously edited my middle grade work-in-progress before departing. I wanted to churn out another draft, so my daughter could read it during the trip. We also were visiting my cousin’s family, and I wanted her son to read it as well. Both are in the target audience for the book, and I wanted their feedback both overall and on the specific language used, i.e. did I use terms that 7-8 year olds understand.
During the trip, I edited a couple stories that needed revisions but mostly needed to be lengthened before they went off to their next submission. That added a few hundred words to my quarterly total, but not too much.
I also edited a novella of a fellow writer in the Northern Virginia Writers Club. The novella was set in the South, and being a Southerner, he asked for comments on its authenticity. I readily obliged.
Then I tackled a stack of magazines that had piled up. They tend to do that throughout the year until I tear through them all at once, like on this trip.
Finally, it was time to come home. Our two weeks were up, and I’d barely written a thing. I still felt productive. I often find that editing gives a similar satisfactory feeling to writing, once it’s done. It’s kind of a slog during. It’s an especially nice feeling when you reread what you wrote, realize it’s not total crap, and know you’ve made it better with the edits.
I’m still hoping to get some more words in this quarter. I have about six weeks. I would love to get a couple stories written before October when I’d like to turn to outlining my NaNoWriMo project. I’ll have more on that with my 3Q21 update.
Being “inspired to edit” is rare for me. Good to know you found the inspiration somehow!
Will have to compare notes on your New England trip sometime. I think the South and NE are two of the most distinctive, unique regions of the country, so a Southerner’s view of it would be quite interesting.
Sound like you’re doing some great market research on your WIP. Good luck on editing and polishing it!
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