To Write or Not To Write

Author: Anastasia V. Pergakis // Category:

Have any other writer, besides myself had this situation happen to them? I sure hope so.

I have 7 different novels, all in different stages of writing/revising. Last year I decided it was time to really focus on ONE novel and get it ready for querying this year. Sounds like a smart plan doesn't it? Well for me, apparantly it wasn't.

Something has happened to me, either 1-I chose the wrong story to focus on at the moment or 2-my muse does not like the idea of working on only one story at a time. I thought about this for the last week or so and tried to work on a different novel. It worked for a day or two then the muse went away again and starting thinking about something else.

So what am I to do? How can I get my mind to focus on one thing at a time? I'm not used to opperating like that! However, I feel it is a skill that I need to learn if I am going to make it in this writing world.

My brain suddenly (seriously just now) had the thought that I could continue the way I have been with my writing - skipping to whichever novel my muse wanted to work on that day, and then have plenty of novels to choose from when they were ready to send out into the world. ..... Yea I'll let you think about that one for a second too. .....

So what am I to do? Because I know when NaNo comes around in December, I'll punch out novel number 8!!! Why? I honestly couldn't tell you. My brain has some serious issues and my muse likes to exploit the fact that my brain is off kilter a bit.

I thought starting this blog would appease my brain for the need or want to skip around. Apparantly not!

Any advice from my fellow writers? Should I continue writing the way I always have (skipping around as it suited my muse) or should I try to force myself to learn to write a different way? A part of me doesn't think it's a good idea to "force" my writing into a new way - forcing writing to me seems to make the story lose something along the way. So why don't I just stick to doing it the way I always did? Well, I'm starting to think that I'll never get anything published if I do. I mean who else has SEVEN UNFINISHED novels?

*sigh* Frankly, I think I bit off more than I could chew this year and I just don't know how to fix it or make it better. Have any other writers been in this same predicament? How did you get out it? What did you decide and why?

11 Responses to "To Write or Not To Write"

Anonymous Says :
March 2, 2010 at 6:44 PM

I focus on one thing at a time, because I'd rather have a really good wip going on instead of three average ones.

It's hard, because I have so many ideas swirling in my head. What I do is work on notes and outlining for other books while I'm working on the "main" book. Then, if I still feel strongly about my new outlines, I eventually write those other stories.

Anne Riley Says :
March 2, 2010 at 6:49 PM

I only work on one thing at a time unless I have something out on submission. For example, the first time The Clearing went out to editors, I started a new WIP and worked on it until The Clearing came back with suggestions and encouraging remarks. Then I worked on it for 3 more months and it goes out for round 2 this week, which means... I'll probably start a new project!

Harley D. Palmer Says :
March 2, 2010 at 7:08 PM

Medeia - that's a good idea! I might have to try that, see if it works for me.

Anne - I'll have to try that if I ever get ONE novel ready to go out there LOL I just can't seem to get anything done lately - really starting to depress me! LOL

J. D. Brown Says :
March 2, 2010 at 10:08 PM

I can't really give you advice here, sorry. I have a one-track mind. It would be impossible for me to do 2 or more books at one time, my brain would explode, I wouldn't even think of trying it! That doesn't mean I don't have a million ideas floating around, because I do! And about 50 times a day my muse gets a case of A.D.D. and goes "Oh hey! That would be really cool for that sci-fi you're planning to write some day!" And then I go "Yeah it would, but I'm trying to focus here, so shush!"

I have to agree with Medeia. If ideas pop into your head, write them down in you notes! Outline. I even go so far as to write "short story versions" that I can expand on later. This way, at least you won't be worried about forgetting! *Hugs* Good luck. I hope I was able to help a little?

Harley D. Palmer Says :
March 3, 2010 at 3:19 AM

Jen, that's a great idea for the short story! That would totally allow my muse to be sidetracked for a while without totally going off road! Thanks!! *big hugs*

Emailman Says :
March 3, 2010 at 5:24 AM

At the end of the day, Harley, I don't think that there is two writers that write the same way. Some plan every tiny detail with pages and pages of outline before they even start their novels, and others, like myself, get an idea and write the whole novel off-the-cuff. The best advice I could give is do it however you want. There's no right or wrong way to do it. Do it your way, the Harley way :) I wouldn't stress out over it, girl, you'll get them done in your own good time. Have confidence in yourself.

Harley D. Palmer Says :
March 3, 2010 at 10:12 AM

Aww thanks Kurt! That makes me feel so much better! I guess I was caught up in "get this published ASAP" mode, although I don't know how I got there. Thanks for reminding that I'll get published when I'm ready (and when my novel is ready), not when I FORCE it to be ready!

*breathes a sigh of relief*

Emailman Says :
March 3, 2010 at 1:17 PM

:) We've all been there as you read in my SM Blooding & Crew blog the other day. Now is not a good time to send anyway, with the recession and all that. Agent Robert from the Curtis Brown Agency was telling me the other day that non of the big publishers are taking on new authors at the moment, so you take as long as you need!

Ann Elle Altman Says :
March 3, 2010 at 8:45 PM

I just finished the first edit on one of my WIP and decided for March to work on another... well, I just can't seem to get into it. So I've been just sitting at my computer staring at it. So today, I've decided to start another WIP - one that I'm more in the mood for.

Normally, I can finish a WIP but just now... I'm having problems. So, I guess I'm suggestionless.


Erica Says :
March 3, 2010 at 11:31 PM

For me, I work on one thing at a time, I'm unable to do anything else, however, you are not me. So I would focus on what you want. If working on 7 stories is what works for you - I sat do it! Make sure you finish at least one ;o)

Good luck!

Harley D. Palmer Says :
March 4, 2010 at 1:02 AM

Thanks for all the advice and encouragement guys! It means so much to me to know that I'm not the only one that struggles at some point (or at least knowing that I have friends that'll help me out of a rut).

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