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Why professional novelists “forget” about their work—and why you should too

We love a good novel.

We also love studying what makes great novelists so talented at what they do.

Turns out, lots of that advice applies to good marketing work.

While novel-writing and marketing are different skills, they’re both creative in nature.

Here’s one rule almost every novelist follows, from Gaiman to Murakami to King:

Once they’re done writing a novel, they’ll take a break from it—anywhere from a week to months—before looking at it again.

Then, they revise.

Why? Immediate revisions are rarely ideal. You’re stuck in the same logical and creative patterns you were in when you created the work.

By letting your work sit, you’re giving your mind a chance to sit and reset.

You also give yourself time to forget the details of your work so you can review it with fresh eyes.

Of course, marketing timelines are significantly faster-paced than novel-writing timelines. But, this is still a tactic you can use.

For example: If you recently produced great work and feel excited about it, resist the temptation to fire it off your client right away.

Instead, give it a day or two to rest.

Then, come back to it. You’ll often be shocked at what you notice, and what stands out.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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