Taking a Break After Finishing Your First Draft (Beyond Her Calling Guest Post + Giveaway!)

Hello there! I do apologise for being AWOL there are changes a-coming but today we have a double bill in celebration of the release of Kellyn Roth‘s new book Beyond Her Calling.

Kellyn has the honour of being the first guest to post here, which is pretty exciting. Stay tuned to the end for details of the giveaway of a *signed* copy of her new book. Also, keep an eye out for my review which will be appearing later today along with more details of the blog tour.

BHC Quotes 9

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Finishing the first draft of your novel is exhilarating! Oftentimes when I finish my first drafts, I don’t want to put them down. I just want to keep working on them.

However, as you’ve no doubt heard, most professionals recommend taking a break after you finish draft one before diving into rewrites or revisions.

Now, this may seem like a bad idea. When you’re excited about the story, shouldn’t you keep working on it? What if you fervour dies? What if you can’t remember what all was going on when you return to it?

These are all valid concerns. However, it is vital for writers to take at least a brief break.

How long should this break be? At least two weeks is the recommended length; most say a month or two. On my bigger projects, I sometimes need to take four or five months before I can return to it with any clarity, but that’s just me.

So, really, the length of the break is entirely up to you — and entirely individualistic. But the need for the break exists in every writer’s heart.

Why is this?

Writing a novel is a lengthy endeavour. I know authors who can finish a full-length novels in two weeks (and I can do it in four if I really push myself), but whether it takes you fourteen days or three hundred, it’s exhausting.

Your brain is dead.

Your fingers are exhausted from all that typing.

You’ve forgotten what sunshine looks like.

And, of course, you’re tired of your novel.

But wait! say you. I’m not tired of my novel! I love my novel. I want to keep working on it!

I love my novel when I finish it about 80% of the time, too. Which is the second reason one should always take a break.

You see, revisions (and all editing, really) takes a certain amount of harshness on the author’s part. You’ve heard the phrase ‘kill your darlings.’ This must be true of every successful writer.

Though it hurts not a thing to skim-read through your novel and pick out typos or simply remember fondly every fun twist of phrase and death scene you wrote, starting your revisions before you’ve given yourself some time to step back and see beyond that beautiful piece of writing you just finished will do you no good whatsoever.

With Beyond Her Calling, my plan was to start editing as soon as January rolled around (after writing it in NaNoWriMo). Well, turns out, I couldn’t make myself begin it until June. Not usefully. Looking at critique depressed me.

And then, suddenly, I was able to. I just needed to take some more time.

So wait. Start your revisions about a suitable break. You won’t regret it.

BHC Quotes 2


At twenty, Ivy Knight feels as if she hasn’t accomplished anything of worth. Her life stretches on before her, empty and pointless. Though her faith in God and her mental abilities have been strengthened, she still doubts herself. Does God have a purpose for a socially awkward, often confused and frightened young woman?

Jordy McAllen has just returned to Scotland after his education in London. Though he has accomplished a lot for a farm lad such as himself, he fears that what everyone has always said about him may be true: he won’t really make a good doctor. Determined to prove himself, Jordy snatches up the opportunity to become the doctor in the village of Keefmore near his parents’ farm.

Helping Jordy with his work at Keefmore seems like the perfect opportunity for Ivy. Still, she doubts herself. Is there a purpose to Ivy’s life?

You can find Beyond Her Calling at Goodreads and Amazon and can find more of Kellyn’s excellent work at her blog, Reveries, where you will also find character interviews, spotlights, and other fun extras as we celebrate Beyond Her Calling‘s release.


Kellyn Roth lives on an Eastern Oregon ranch with her parents, little brothers, border collies, cats, and a few dozen cows and chickens. Always a lover of a good story, and especially of telling one, she’s been writing since she was seven and published her first novel at fourteen. Now a homeschool grad, she divides her time between penning her next Christian historical novel, creating professionally silly articles at kellynroth.blog, and her actual life. Actual life plays second fiddle sometimes, though.

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Enter the giveaway to win a paperback copy of Beyond Her Calling! (USA & International!)

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You can also check out the Facebook party every day this week for exciting updates!

Beyond Her Calling, Blog Tour Main Graphic


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