The completion of my fifth draft came at the right time, now that work has picked up. But having less time to focus on my novel isn't necessarily a bad thing.
Some of the advice I've read is to set aside your writing for a while and focus on other things. That's probably something I needed to do, because I had moved quickly from a first to a fifth draft in a six-month span.
It's been a good time to let beta readers look at either the draft in full or the first few chapters. (Blatant plug: I'm still open to those who are interested.) I've had time to enjoy other activities, such as watching NFL football (I'm a Broncos fan) and spending time with family (my mother and sister came to visit this past weekend).
It's also been a good time to pick up additional books. I finished The Catcher In The Rye and have started The Stand (1,500-plus pages in paperback form, so this may take a while). I also have Jurassic Park, The Maze Runner and the original Star Wars trilogy paperback. Those should keep me occupied for a few months.
With each book I've read, I've paid attention to character development, voice and pacing. It's the first item I'm focused on because it gets me thinking about how I may give more depth to my characters. Voice is something I've learned can make or break a book (as I explained when I talked about The Catcher In The Rye). And pacing is something I've learned can be the differnce between keeping a reader's attention or driving them away, whether it's because they think there's too much going on or not enough happening.
It's different from how I used to read books, in which I didn't think much about those elements and only concerned myself with whether or not I enjoyed the book. I have found it makes reading more enjoyable, though, to think about what elements drew me in.
The time will come, though, when I'll have to sit down, read the fifth draft and determine what adjustments remain. That's when I'll definitely need to pay attention to what makes a book enjoyable.