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!