King recommends about a month or two, which sounds ludicrous to me since my October deadline isn't going away. The problem that I've got is one that I've had before in the past: I feel like I'm merely revisiting what everyone else has done in all the science fiction, horror, and fantasy that I've read.
Then again, the need for a break - a real break; not just a week or a few days - makes sense to me; it makes sense to open the windows, so to speak, and give myself some fresh air. So, in spite of the feeling that I'm tossing away a big block of time, I'm going to follow King's advice and leave Ain't No Grave alone until the end of February. Yeah, February sounds long enough.
Those nagging problems will still be there to bother me. I don't think they ever really leave a writer when he takes a break. I'll keep my mind open to what I can do to fix the problems when I come back to the novel, but I'm not going to lose sleep over them just yet.
I've got my fingers crossed that King and my friend will be right about this.