No matter how eager you are to jump in and start revising that first draft the day after you’ve written it, it always pays to step back and wait. Here’s why:
1. Distance yourself from the work. Seeing our work with objective eyes only occurs once we’ve put that story away for a while. You want this objectivity so it won’t feel so much like you’re ripping out parts of your soul as you revise – although revision can be a painful process at every step of the way.
2. Time to get started on a different project. Writing or revising something else can keep your mind off your recently finished project. With your finished work staying in your subconscious mind, you can often come up with solutions to the problems in it unconsciously. Two projects can spawn ideas for each other.
3. You might damage the story. Revising too soon could be devastating. You might read through your whole novel the day after you’ve written it and think it’s brilliant – which is untrue. No rough draft is brilliant. Or you may read it all the way through and become disgusted with how bad it is – and never give it another chance again, even though it may deserve another draft.
4. You might get burned out. It’s always good to take a break from anything you’ve been working on for a significant period of time. Use the time away from your work to rest, relax, and clear your head. It’s never good to work too hard.
5. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. Yes, it’s a cliche, but it’s true. You may fall even more in love with your story when you’ve been mentally and physically away from it for a while. This happens to me. I end up missing my characters and the story so much that I’m excited to go back to them after giving them a rest.