A month ago, I was happily trudging along working on the sequel in my Cayo Hueso Mystery series. I figured out my plot, incorporated exciting new characters, and drafted 40K words — roughly halfway there. I was definitely rolling along. And then my brain did this thing where it got inspired to start a shiny new project.
What the –?
Anyhoo, normally I could just file that new idea away under the heading of ‘later.’ I’ll work on it later. Except I couldn’t. This new mystery, also YA, needled at me and said, “Come on, strike while the iron is hot” or some cliche to that effect.
Fair enough. So I began a negotiation of sorts with myself. I said, “I’ll work on this new project until May 31st and then it’s back to Book 2 in June.” A good compromise that has already failed. I’m so hooked on my new book that I don’t wish to work on anything else at the moment. The other day I wrote 5,000 words without feeling it. I was excited, not exhausted. I still am. I’ve given up television at night to write. I’m not checking Facebook every three seconds to write. I’m not paying much attention to my kids either lately to write. (Sure, have fruits snacks for lunch. Eat whatever you want if you give me an hour.) Writing is work, hard work. It’s tough to make your brain paint characters and setting and then translate it to a blank page. I’m amazed all the time that I know how to do this.
I’m also trying something new with my process. I’m writing scenes out of order. I’m not working from a detailed scene outline either. I’m incorporating peripheral characters’ POVs. In short, it’s working because it’s fun and it’s fun because it’s working. Figure that out.
Have you ever worked on a passion project that made you giddy? That didn’t feel like work? That practically wrote itself? I’d love to hear about it.