Sunday, March 24, 2013

Sleep well manuscript

It finally happened. I reached the end of my creative juices on my latest novel. At 25,000 words in, I’ve had enough. The book started well enough. I had a great idea and I feverishly wrote the first draft in under three weeks. I let it sit for a few days while I visited the Jersey Shore and then pulled it back onto the screen anxious and excited to begin the revision process. And then thunk!

Plagued by writer’s block for the last two weeks, I’ve been spending my morning writing time agonizing over the draft. The story is strong, the characters lively, and the setting fantastic… so what’s my problem?

Perhaps, it’s the oncoming nice weather, or the fact that I’ve come up with another new, fresh idea for a book (a philosophical thriller). I don’t know. But what I do know after writing twelve novels, nine of which are published, is that when I lose interest in a project it only results in flat writing and a boring story if I continue. I learned this lesson the hard way after writing three novels that I struggled to finish over a span of years only to realize that they weren’t very good. A combine twenty-seven months of work shoved into a closet drawer for eternity.

There’s nothing worse than realizing the drive to continue this book is dwindling and the joy of writing this book is waning away. It’s a good book by all standards (great plot, action, and suspense) except my own. As the itch to start a new project tickles in my mind, I feel both sad and relived (because I’m only three months into this project and haven’t wasted too much time) that this latest novel needs an incubation period before I continue with the revisions. I think that’s what separates the consummate writer from the wannabe; knowing when to move on.

So, as I put my latest manuscript to rest in the drawer with the others for who knows how long, I’m feeling the excitement, anxiousness, and commitment of starting yet another project. Writers get better with time and experience, and although my latest novel may never be finished or may become a bestseller in the future, I realized for my own sanity that for now, I need a new world to live in and new characters to meet.

Sleep well my unfinished manuscript, may you someday see the light of day again and come fully to fruition. For now, it’s time to start another new novel. I can feel my fingertips tingling already.