There’s this thing that happens whenever I finish a big endeavor, whether it be uni exams or a novel. It’s so predictable I can pretty much put it in my calender, but I always hope this time will be different.
I get sick.
I’m really bad at taking breaks and slowing down. You know how I said I was taking this week off from writing? Yeah… I tried. But halfway through the week research books were delivered for my new novel, and then I had to type up the chapters I’d hand-written for Restless, and prepare for the read-through I’m doing this weekend…
As I said on Twitter, taking a break from writing is like communism. It sounds like a lovely idea, but in practice it Does Not Work.
Until your body decides to intervene and make you sick. So this week I’ve been stuck on the couch while we have one of the first sunny weeks of the summer, grrr.
I have managed to print off my manuscript, though. Look at the pretty:
It feel so much more real now that it isn’t just a document on my computer!
In March I’ll be joining the March Madness Challenge. As I’ll be finished with Restless by that point (until my critique partners tell me all the things that are wrong with it, that is) I’ve been mulling what I should do. I was thinking I could start writing my planned next book, but it’s not quite at the stage that I’m ready to jump right in or commit fully to the one story.
Commitment is something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. Like it or not, it takes me a fairly long time to write a book (six months for the first draft and at least that again for revisions) and I need to know the story I’m telling is one that will continue to excite me a year down the road, especially if it’s published, as then there are publisher-requested revisions, edits and a plethora of other book-related activities. It’s a big commitment.
The book I’m planning to write next is a lot like Restless. Not in subject matter, per se, but in tone and setting. In one way this is a good thing, as it means I might be finding my voice and style as a writer. But I worry that perhaps by writing this particular book I won’t be challenging myself. I won’t be learning anything new.
So, for March Madness I’ve decided to spread my wings a bit. For every week of March I’m going to write a short story in a different genre. I’m going to explore the possibilities. At the end of March, I think I’ll know whether to write the book I was planning, or to try something new altogether.
If you want to join March Madness (and please do, it will be fun!) I’m told Denise Jaden will be kicking off the festivities on her blog at the end of February.
Have a great weekend, all!