Unfinished Business: How Do You Know When It’s Time to Move On?


I’m starting another novel today.  For some reason, it just felt right.  Maybe it’s the fact that my other novel and I need some space.  Draft two, which is a drastic change from its original form is good—not where I want it to be just yet, but I feel like it is on the road to being a good read.  One day, when it is all grown up and (hopefully) published, I can imagine it soaking up the sun on some beach as some lady reads it…or perhaps it will become a matchmaker at a Laundromat where two lost souls discover that they are both reading my book.  Happily ever after will obviously ensue.  I could fantasize all day about the possibilities, but I wouldn’t get anything done.  So instead, I force myself to put away that manuscript (because right now we don’t have anything to say to each other) and pick up the pen again.  I don’t have a story for you today, because I don’t think that there is an outright answer to the question I am going to ask.  Also, a story about writing a story might just be a little too meta for so early in the day.

Instead, my question for you is this:

How do you know when it is the right time to move on to another project?  Do you wait until it has been perfected or do you let the ideas simmer and start a new project in the meantime?