Now that the second (and a half) draft of my WiP is complete, it's essential that I put it away for a period of time. I'm sure you've all been there before - that break you need to take so you can come back to the ms with fresh eyes.
But putting down a story can be hard. I know it, you know it. It's good. Agents will drool at the (already-written) query letter. It wouldn't hurt to rush it off to betas or - god forbid - send a few nibbly queries out, right? Right?
Put on the brakes.
You only get one chance to make a first impression with this ms. It doesn't hurt to wait. I'll say it again: it doesn't hurt to wait. Polish it up and let it sparkle before you let it out into the world. If you need inspiration, read the waiting that Marissa Meyer endured as she patiently went through several drafts and revisions of CINDER. She knew it was a stellar story, but she didn't jeopardise her chances of getting an agent by sending it out too early. It was worth it in the end, wouldn't you agree? And your book will be worth it too.
To help you along, here are some ways to keep yourself busy while you let that story sit:
1. Do those things that you've been putting off while writing. Clean the bathrooms. Take the dog for a walk. Have a shower. You know, that less important stuff.
2. Catch up with friends, who probably haven't seen you since you typed the first word of the first draft.
3. Make a dent in that never-ending TBR pile of books.
4. Write another story - either a brand new WiP, or if that's too much for your brain to handle, try a short story or revamp an old shelved ms.
5. Throw yourself into your (real life) work. For example, if you're a teacher, maybe do some actual marking and (gasp) lesson plans.
6. Visit your family. Yeah, remember them?
7. Plan your next holiday. See if you can design a way to save enough to actually go, rather than just dreaming about it. Writers should experience life in as many places as they possibly can, after all.
8. Write a post about how you can survive the rest period. Possibily similar to this one.
Any more suggestions for those of us who are itching to get back into it?