The time comes when one writing project reaches an end and a new project is calling for attention. The transition between two projects is not always easy, especially if closure on the first lingers. I’ve been in this situation for a couple of weeks, when a new project started occupying my attention, but I dared not give more than limited attention.
I’ve discovered one of the secrets of recognising the time to move on is accepting when to let go. For me this came about in an unexpected way. I realised I no longer needed complete closure on giving attention to my recently published book. Sales had reached the stage where I could step back and let the book take charge of its own destiny.
A chance meeting with two women from my past enabled me to recognise my transitional moment. Quite by surprise I realised these two women were connected to both projects. As we sat and talked at a social function connected to my 1950s memoir book, our conversation focussed not on the school centenary we were attending, but on the past sporting life we’d shared. These women were strongly connected to my new writing project. We talked into the night, laughing at our shared stories from the 1960s.
Later, at home after a long night, I realised our conversation had packaged up one project, not with complete closure, but enough to understand my book no longer needed me. The conversation had been like a letting go ceremony, pointing me in the direction of my new writing venture.
By talking, listening and sharing ideas, I gave myself permission to move on with increased confidence. The recently published book will always be an important part of my writing life, but it’s time for my next story to start unfolding.
Do you have advice for other writers about making the transition from one project to the next? How have you handled it? What has made the transition easier for you? Your experience may help other writers to move forward.