This is crucial for any writer, but especially a novelist. As I’ve found, you can spend many months on the editing process; and if I find myself ignoring my advice, my edits start to get dull. Why is this? I’m not writing.
Writing something new keeps those creative juices flowing. It’s almost like creativity is a muscle. If you exercise and train it a lot, it will get stronger. But as soon as you neglect it, take it out of training, it will start to regress. The cure for that is to make sure you have a project you can work on while you are editing.
If you’re a novelist, then have another novel that you are working on. Before you sit down with your red pen, take 20, 30 min or so and just type away. You will find that not only will you have another novel done pretty quickly, but you will also be all warmed up for your edits! It’s a win win.
So, I need to make sure I keep heeding my own advice, and hopefully it will work for you as well.
Tell me, what experiences do you have with writing while you are mired in stacks of edits? Does it seem to help you?