What If I Told You…?

by Jenn (eating bender) on October 5, 2011

Great news! In two weeks, I have written an additional 15,000 words.


What if I told you that not a single one of those words is for my previous novel?

Would you call me a quitter? A crazy person? A rebound writer, jumping from one idea to the next?

Maybe. I know I’ve certainly called myself all of those things over the course of 14 days.

It’s easy to think that newest is best. People apply this idea to all sorts of things. It’s how we justify buying the latest and greatest technology, how we get over soured relationships and how we convince ourselves that we’ll be happier at that company or in that job instead of where we are now. Sometimes, we’re correct in this assumption. Sometimes, the novelty wears off.

When my second story idea came to me, I ran with it for a few days, feeling sheepish. Not only had I already invested the time in writing 40,000 words of another book I had believed in just as wholeheartedly when I started it — I was also just coming down from my first critical review (and I mean critical in the necessary, not the negative sense of the word). I automatically assumed that by throwing myself into a new project and letting the other fall by the wayside, I was abandoning ship, waving the white flag of surrender or any other cliché meant to convey self-defeat.

What if I told you I was wrong?

Fourteen days later, I can honestly say that I feel more passionate, more driven and more personally fulfilled with my new direction. I’ve filled almost an entire notebook with research, character maps and scene chronology. As hard as I tried to do that with my original draft, I found myself staring at blank pages every time I brainstormed. Yes, I was able to generate 40,000 words without ever writing down a plan. It was all in my head. I convinced myself this was a good thing because I was letting the words flow. Not every author needs to have a written outline before they begin.

I realize now that it was because I was feeling trapped. Trapped in a story that was too similar to my own life. Writing from what I knew, while seemingly an innocent way to start out as a novelist, had transformed into writing an exaggerated memoir, with a few minor detail changes.

I do not want to write a memoir. At least, not yet.

Don’t get me wrong — I love reading memoirs and think they’re fantastic with the right author. For right now, the right author is not me. I want to be a fiction writer, which means it’s time for me to put on my big girl panties and…write fiction.

I know, the revelation shocked me, too. 😉

It may take longer than the end of October. It may flop. I may be back on my first novel idea next week, trying to convince you all that this post was a joke, a momentary lapse in judgment.

What if I told you that I doubt any of the above will turn out to be true?

I can’t make any promises. As always, only time will tell if the novelty wears off.

In the meantime, I’m willing to take the risk. There is not a lot to lose, but a whole lot to gain.

Finish this sentence: What if I told you…?

If there is something you’ve been meaning to get off your chest, I guarantee it will make you feel better!


{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Megan (Braise The Roof) October 5, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I think it’s great that you’re staying flexible. It’s not like you’re married to a concept at this point, so write what you feel passionately about! That’s what you’re doing with the blog, why not with your novel? :)


2 Jenn (eating bender) October 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Such a great point! Thanks, Megan. :)


3 Brandi October 5, 2011 at 12:16 pm

i am so excited (and happy!) for you! any chance you’ll spill the beans on the subject of this one? :) is it related to your first idea at all? i’m so excited for you!!

What if I told you…I’m writing a book, too.


4 Jenn (eating bender) October 5, 2011 at 12:37 pm

AHH! You are?!?! Yay! I appreciate your support more than you know, and yes, I will spill the beans…offline for now. :) Emailing you right now…


5 Cara (Twinthusiast) October 5, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Wow that’s an impressive word count for a short amount of time. You go girl. You’re going to have more fun with this idea, methinks!


6 Jenn (eating bender) October 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Thank you! Methinks so, too! :)


7 Michelle October 5, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Good luck on your new venture! I’m sure, if you feel so strongly about it, it’s even better than the last! :)


8 Jenn (eating bender) October 5, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Thank you, Michelle! :)


9 Melissa @ TryingToHeal October 5, 2011 at 3:36 pm

Yay, that is so exciting!!! When do I get to read it….? If not, I’m still happy to hear about it!!!


10 Jenn (eating bender) October 5, 2011 at 5:23 pm

Yes! We still need to swap, lady. Let’s chat more about it this weekend!


11 Erica October 5, 2011 at 5:38 pm

Your enthusiasm is contagious! I can just tell how excited you are (yayyyy!). Keep pushing


12 Mahealani @ Beauty, Brains, and Balance October 5, 2011 at 8:21 pm

As someone who’s working on several stories at once, I think you HAVE to write on different projects in order to keep yourself sane. And who knows, your second (third or fourth) project may be the best one yet!


13 Janet Scragg October 7, 2011 at 1:55 pm

Congrats on following your instinct and pursuing your passion ( hey…, I think I heard that somewhere). Do consider all avenues of publishing. I just read about an author who is publishing in Kindle format and doing rather well, one of her books is being discussed as a potential movie. (The title of one of her books is My Scattered Life .)

I know whatever you do Jenn, as long as you follow your heart, you will be successful.


14 Anneliesz October 7, 2011 at 6:13 pm

It’s funny how that happens, right? I found poetry to be the same for me as fiction is for you. Follow your bliss Jen!


15 Foodie (Fab and Delicious Food) October 9, 2011 at 1:07 pm

All I can say is, good for you! :) Sounds like you are doing great! Best of luck with your new direction!


16 natalie (the sweets life) October 12, 2011 at 11:23 am

you are awesome! i give you so much credit for taking the scarier route here and i have no doubt it’ll pay off. can’t wait to read that first book–whatever it is! :)


17 Thomas Kaut October 14, 2011 at 2:46 pm

Always write what’s in your heart and what you believe in. Good luck to you! God bless!


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