A funny thing happens when you quit your day job and take an impromptu trip to Michigan to crash at your parents’ place for a week. Inspiration, which you’ve been mostly too tired or braindead to truly appreciate, comes rushing back to you like a tidal wave and you want to write all the things. But you can’t write all the things, even if you want to, because you’re not used to being able to just sit and write for hours on end. You get distracted. You get antsy. You have the attention span of a gnat, and it doesn’t help that, while you’re working on one thing, your brain is getting all excited about writing some other new shiny thing. It’s a wonderful feeling, but a confusing one. My creative cup is definitely overflowthing, and I don’t know what the heck to do with it.
I know I should be finishing Soulless. Really, there’s only a few more chapters left and the rough draft will be finished, though I’m still uncertain about the giant ass cliffhanger ending it will have in its current form. It’s part of a trilogy, so a cliffhanger seems fine, but leaving a dangling string at the end of your story just feels like lazy writing to me. But I’ve had so many different ideas popping into my head, tempting me away, that I haven’t been actually able to write a lot on Soulless. It’s the classic conundrum that I always seem to battle with…do I stick to it and buckle down and focus on what I know I should be writing, especially since I want this book out by the end of the year, or do I follow my muse and cultivate the creativity on a different project while it’s still bright and fresh?
Though it’s lead me to be a little more easily distracted, I’m trying to be good and not start any new projects until Soulless is finished. I am allowing myself to scribble down some prompts so that these ideas don’t completely flit away, but Soulless is my main priority, and it will be done by the start of the next round of A Round of Words in 80 Days, which starts up again April 7th, and I am stoked to hop back on board. If I have the rough draft finished by then, I can easily work in some great transcribing and editing goals and easily have a draft ready for beta readers by the end of the 80 days on June 26th. Which would mean I could potentially get it published well before my December 31st deadline and can then focus heavily on getting The World Unknown Review up and running.
I’m also finding that constrained writing is a great way to keep yourself captivated and involved in a piece. That’s what I struggle with in Soulless; it’s just sitting there, staring at me, telling me to finish it, but the go-get-it attitude is lacking inside me. Meanwhile, on my 750 Words front, I’m restricting myself to ONLY the 750 words a day on a book that is turning out to perhaps finally be the right way to start out a series that I’ve been failing to start for about ten years now, and I find that getting to write the next day’s 750 words is the most exciting part of my moment. I’m eager to get back to it, to continue Maggie’s story, to put into play some of the thoughts I’ve had throughout the day. There’s always so much talk about word count, write as much as you can, but I’m kind of astonished by how much restricting my writing is improving it. The prose has been beautiful so far, and it’s the best fifteen minutes of my work day. I’m sure the story is a little disjointed, but that’s what editing is for. And considering how long 750 words a day will take me to finish the book, it’s a good exercise in patience, too.
Lastly (see? I’ve got so many things to say lately!), today is the last day for the writing contest I participated in on reddit, so I’ll likely be posting “Rescue from the Mutineers of Starvation” as my featured story soon. I’m excited to share it, and hopefully get some perspective on what I should be doing with it. When I get home, I’m hoping to break out the art supplies, because I’m vaguely playing around with making it into a graphic novel/comic book series, but we shall see.
Happy writing, everyone!