Monday, April 10, 2017

Excited About

I guess it's no secret that I do a lot of stuff. People are always telling me they see me as productive and creative and prolific. I guess that's true. And here's the secret:

I dive in and start working on something pretty much as soon as I'm excited about it.

And then I bust that thing out quickly instead of dragging it out over a long period of time, all while I'm still sort of in the honeymoon phase of that idea.

Usually it works out great. Sometimes, maybe not.

Novels are famous for being multi-draft works. You have to rewrite them several times (usually), and sometimes there's even a complete overhaul or two. Some people spend weeks, months, years planning a novel, and just as long writing it. I do very little active planning. Although sometimes an idea has been percolating for a long time and I explode into writing it as soon as it finally connects to something I can grab onto.

I have really not been doing that with writing lately. That's why you see blogging, singing, ukulele playing, activism videos, drawings, photos, book reviews, and no news of writing.

It's mostly the other ideas that are jumping in and seizing me these days. I am not sure WHY, and it's unusual, though not unprecedented. I had a short story I was excited about a while back. I started writing it and I didn't like the tone or the mood of it so I stopped, figuring I'll just scrap this and start over at some point. I haven't done that. I was excited about my new YA novel with an asexual protagonist, but I haven't written anything new for her in a long time. (I think if I reread what I have, I'd be able to jump-start the next chapter, but I haven't sought it out.) And I haven't written any new novels, or started Bad Fairy 3, or done any editing/rewriting on other novels I could maybe show my agent. (She's still reviewing Bad Fairy 2.)

Now, I know for a fact that if I got a book deal for the Bad Fairy series and it included the third as-yet-unwritten volume, I'd bust it out in a flash. (I'm like that, first of all, and secondly, I've written the story before in a less expanded form, so I know what happens.) I know I could decide to write that short story and get it out in an evening, or go back to writing Ace of Arts and see it finished probably in a couple months. But I don't do that. Because right now, for whatever reason? I'm not excited about it.

I'm not sitting around bummed out that I "can't" write, and I don't have writer's block. I just have a system that has always served me well in producing things, and right now that system isn't directed at writing fiction. It's maybe a bit distressing, because a) I know how much I enjoy doing that and b) not producing anything when I have an agent ready to read it and send it to publishers is kinda silly. But to be honest, I've never messed with that formula before, with the exception of, like, school papers. I've never sat down unexcited about something and written it anyway.

My method, if I were to decide I wanted to write stuff again right now, would be to get excited about it. And that's easy--rereading old stuff, applying creative exercises, checking out other writers' stories of success to inspire me. (Mostly that first item--reconnecting with my stuff makes me want to make more of it.) But it seems like right now I've been content just not making any new writing for a while. I'm not sad about it, though maybe I'm a little weirded out thinking "I SHOULD be doing this." But I don't feel like it right now. I'm enjoying creating some of my other things, like the fan comics and blog essays and webcomics and stuff.

I figure this can't last much longer. But you never know. 

Maybe I'll see what happens this week if I reread some chapters of my in-progress novel.

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