When You Just Aren’t Feeling It
Howdy everyone. It’s been a while. I hope all is well with you and yours.
Oh, pause button. Be right back. <<leaves computer to track down kittens, Comet and Rocket. Like with a 2-year-old, there’s cause to worry when things get too quiet.>>
Okay, cat-herding success. Kittens accounted for and trash can set upright with all the garbage back inside.
Anyway, after the release of Matt Archer: Bloodlines on December 31, I turned my attention to a fun contemporary YA I’ve been dying to write. Yet, when I got down to it, the words weren’t coming. Oh, I managed to pen about 25,000, which is good, but each word was getting harder and harder to write. I would find excuses for not writing, or put down 300 words and lose interest. The funny thing is most of the words were pretty good, the characters had life and I knew exactly where the story had to go.
I just wasn’t feeling it.
To make things worse, I was struggling with guilt because I wasn’t able to focus on this story. No matter how much I love the concept or the characters, something else was getting in the way. I thought it might be writer’s block, or that mini-deflation you get after a book is launched, or the holidays, or being under the weather…
Or, or, or…
It wasn’t until I was honest with myself that I realized what was wrong. See, I ‘write’ in the car going to work. I listen to music and plot out scenes. Despite telling myself I needed a break from Matt, that I needed to wait a month or two before starting the final book, every time I drove to work over the last few weeks…I was going to MA5. How can I possibly work on Sophie’s story when Matt is hanging out, waving a red flag?
Now that I know it, I know what to do: table Sophie (taking the MS out for a refresh periodically), and get to work on MA5. I’ve started rereading the first four, making notes on loose-ends I want to tie up (teaser: not every loose end will be tied up) and writing key scenes while prepping the outline.
As soon as I made this plan to go with the other project, my creative juices started to run a little faster. I got excited about keyboard time and began wondering what the opening scene should be. I’m also itching to start my research (teaser #2: tanks, China, a very particular desert, and congressional hearing rooms).
It’s a tough decision to make, to table (not scrap, just delay) a manuscript. But I’m not on a deadline–not any but my own making anyway–and it’s not worth the stress and loss of productive time to work on something when my heart is somewhere else. I’ll be back to Sophie. I enjoy her too much to leave her in limbo. Any girl who swears by Katie Couric and has to learn to fit in with the football team is a fun character. She just has to wait her turn…and I’m sure she’ll understand.
For now, though, I’m hunting monsters.