I’ve finished a project.  It feels odd to type those words, because I’ve been working on it for so long. And of course it’s not really finished — it’s just resting with someone else for a bit.  I’m nervous and anxious and a bit at a loss for what to do with all this mental space.  I finish a freelance project and turn around to poke some words on my manuscript into place and remember that I’ve sent it off. I pick up a book to read and don’t have to put it down because it’s 10 p.m. and I haven’t made my word count for the day.  I can read my favorite authors again without worrying I’ll be influenced by their voices.

What will I do with all this head room?  For now, I’ll let it be.  I’m organizing my physical space — I promised myself if I finished writing this month I’d clean my office and closet (how sad is that for a motivating goal?) — and in a bit I’ll organize my brain,  too.  I’ll read plotting books, research the idea for a story that’s whispering in my ear, and maybe take a few workshops.  But for now, I’m trying to let my brain be still, let the writing muscles rest so that they’ll be ready when I need them again.

What do you do with the space between projects?Image

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Liz Michalski


  1. Cathy on February 4, 2014 at 9:25 am

    Congratulations Liz! Huge relief. I finished my six year “project” too. Sunday. We are in the same place. What do I do now?

    • liz on February 4, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Cathy!!! If it’s the project I’m thinking of, that’s a huge accomplishment — congratulations! (And I have a GREAT new project for you. He’s sleeping at my feet.)

  2. Melissa Marsh on February 4, 2014 at 2:49 pm

    I just finished a big project, too (though it was nonfiction) and my brain definitely needed a break. I’ve been reading novels, watching movies, hanging out with my family, and taking naps. But I’m SO ready to jump back into my fiction writing!

    • liz on February 4, 2014 at 9:27 pm

      Congrats on finishing, Melissa, and good luck with your next fiction project. I hope you enjoyed your down time! (Naps sound particularly good right now.)

  3. lorriethomson on February 4, 2014 at 5:21 pm

    Congratulations! Just enjoy! Between projects, I’d take the opportunity to catch up with friends.

    • liz on February 4, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Is that a hint, Lorrie? If you can make some time in your schedule, I’m in!

  4. Cathy on February 4, 2014 at 5:46 pm

    Yep, that’s the project all right. I think lorriethomson has the right idea…lunch soon, Liz!

    • liz on February 4, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      So long as we can include the four-legged ones, Cathy!

  5. Adrienne Montezinos on February 5, 2014 at 11:00 am

    Congratulations, Liz! It’s been so long, so I guess one of the things I do in between writing projects is to get in touch with long lost clients and friends! Also, do some Pilates!

    • liz on February 5, 2014 at 1:17 pm

      That sounds lovely, Adrienne! I miss your pilates class.

  6. Vaughn Roycroft on February 6, 2014 at 7:24 pm

    Congrats, Liz! I love when a new story is germinating in the recesses. Enjoy!

    • liz on February 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Thanks, Vaughn. (And thanks for checking in during such a tough week.)

  7. Jan O'Hara on February 7, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    You’ve earned your rest. Congrats on finishing! Since I’ve never had a space between projects, I don’t know, but I’m looking forward to finding out.

    • liz on February 11, 2014 at 11:21 am

      Hope it comes soon for you, Jan!

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