On hold? What do you do about your current WIP when you are swamped with other obligations, speaking engagements, etc? In order to make a living, we often need to accept side projects, speaking engagements, etc. They feed the body, but they don’t fee the soul.
So, what happens to your story while you’re off doing other things?
Cooling off. In some ways, there’s no problem, every project needs a period of cooling off. Try to schedule things so that you’re at a natural breaking point when those times come. Maybe you’ve finished a solid plot and are ready to start writing chapters. Or stop after Act I, or Act 2, or after a complete first draft If you can arrant it that way, then it’s not all bad.
What do I write?
- A letter from a main character
- Scraps of description
- Scraps of dialogue
- Letters to myself about the strengths/weaknesses of the plot
- Musing about possible subplots
- Anything and everything possible about the story, just to keep in the game
Get Creative. Too tired to even write after that side project? Get creative. Do anything that will help keep the story sharp and developing. Start a Pinterest Board of things your character likes–not what YOU like, but what s/he likes. Search stock photo sites (istockphoto.com or fotolia.com) for pictures of each character. Make a playlist from your character’s POV.
Study. Look for a new book about writing and read it. Better, put some of it into practice.
Get critiques. While THEY are reading/commenting, it’s fair for you to take off a bit. So, work on that paying contract, while friends read the fun stuff.
Never Give Up! Whatever you do–do not give up. Just because life is full, it doesn’t mean it will stay this full. And if your story is important enough to you, then you’ll find a way to write it. I don’t know how. I never know how a story gets written. All I know is that I must write; therefore, I will find a way in the midst of the busy days. Life is full. And do you really want it any other way?
On hold? Hold on! This too shall pass.