Remember that WRITING BLOG: DAY ___ I started months ago and was SUPER excited to stay consistent with so you all would be my writing accountabily? Yeah. I barely remember too, because it was FOREVER ago.
During NaNoWriMo, I shared about a contemporary story I was drafting. It started well. I attacked it mostly like a Pantser, which as you may already know, is NOT my most efficient writing approach. It was the thrill and urgency of NaNoWriMo that made me think,
“Why the hell not? Just dive in there, don’t think and write.”
This will one day come in handy I’m sure, (I’d like to test this approach again) but this was not that time. Writing for me has been an interesting back and forth of psychological tug-a-war. In my personal life, A LOT has been going on in the last six months. Too personal to share publicly on the interwebs, but it’s been an avalanche of one thing after another. My emotional state has been overwhelmed. Add to that, anxiety and well, boys and girls, that was just a melting pot of poiling lava.
As of November, I have three offically outlined and in the drafting process WIP (Works-In-Progress). That’s when I REALLY hit the wall.
Actually, way before November was I staring this problem in the face. I had my first manuscript in it’s first round of editing, a fully outlined, half drafted WIP, and two really exciting, different genre concepts I felt ready to bring to life. That led to guilt. I was feeling guilty for not focusing on editing my first project, then I felt bad about not finishing the drafting of the second, then I felt antsy and confused on whether or not I should just write the fun, adult contemporary because it might be a better market to approach first.
My goodness. Writing. The creative aspect of it, though it makes you crazy, I love it. The business aspect of pursuing being a writer is Not. Fun. For. Me. I am not a business-savvy person. That was left all with my mother. That’s the essence of who she is and I received NONE of that DNA. I was the creative, awkward one playing with imaginary character and stories in her room.
With this cluster-funk of mixed emotions floating around, every time I approached my writing station…
Yup. So, that about sums up the specialness of my attempted writing nights. These were the times Des shut it all down, skulked to bed, turned on her Kindle and said, “Peace out, suckerrrrrs!” and read. ALL THE BOOKS. Books have been my therapy.
Last night, the epiphany came. The glitter gods sprinkled it on my face, so I couldn’t have missed it. That damn glitter stuff never comes off. Clings to you like a bloody leech! Okay, I’m getting off topic here.
I was discussing with a friend and fellow writer about my writing woes. I was “verbally” processing with her why I didn’t feel like I could move forward with my writing because I didn’t know which story to focus on first. Shared my guilt about my first manuscript that’s waiting to get edited. I explained how it needs SO MUCH work that editing has felt too overwhelming to tackle. Then, there was the decision of finishing and possibly sharing with the world a YA (young adult) work first or an Adult/New Adult one first.
Seriously, thank goodness for friends. Thank goodness for friends who are also writers and get you. When anyone else would think you’re an overly dramatic weirdo stressing about “nothing important” (insert throat punch), they get it. They understand why it matters. And even better, they can give you unbiased suggestions to think through.
It all made sense now. I knew what I needed to do. It was a beautiful and liberating feeling.
Being that y’all are awesome because let’s be real, if you’re even here taking the time to read these ramblings, you deserve *insert enticing reward here* and to know all the things.
As of now, THE WRITING PLAN
1. Dystopian WIP
My first writing project that’s in the first round of editing is a young adult dystopian. What is Dystopian? According to Google:
Dystopian fiction (sometimes combined with, but distinct from apocalyptic literature) is the opposite: creation of an utterly horrible or degraded society that is generally headed to an irreversible oblivion, or dystopia.
An intended Utopia society that ends up manipulating and controling the people who are in fact, living a delusion. This is one of my favorite genres and there are actually few out there; among those, not many that catch my attention, sadly. To me, this is one of the most fun genres to write. The whole, “Damn the man! Save the empire!” attitude our heroes give after realizing the horrific truths that enslave instead of give freedom.
I love my story. I love this set of characters so much. This is perhaps why I’m so jealous of it and desire to present it as best as possible. It’s momentarily far from that. The worldbuilding needs some cleaning up, the events of our characters need some shifiting, and being that I wrote this three years ago, the dialogue and writing in general, needs A LOT of reworking.
What did I decide?
This will be placed on the shelf. Once I finish the project I have chosen to focus on first, I feel I will then be ready to rework and edit this project next.
2. Post-Apocalyptic/Supernatural WIP
Similar to my first work but completely different, this story came to me during the waiting period when I sent my first WIP to a freelance editor. Her suggestion was to write something “not dystopian” being that at that time, the market was saturated with it. I never, ever pictured myself writing anything with a supernatural element to it. During a writing class I had the privilege to take at our city’s Book Fair with Lauren Oliver (YA HarperCollins author), we brainstormed ideas for certain exercises. One idea that came to mind was centered around the topic of Human Trafficking. I am passionate about this subject. My best friend, Heather and I even wrote a screenplay short about it and almost went into production to bring it to film.
This felt like an interesting and heavy topic for YA, but I came up with something that I felt worked. The subject of Human Trafficking is a part of it but there’s much more woven within the story, such as, this supernatural element I never thought I’d write. Like dystopians, I love post-apocalyptic settings. Don’t know why these stories fascinate me. Perhaps it’s the survival aspect and seeing hero/heroines either step up and become badass or fall apart in their expectation to deliver what’s necessary to survive. Many times you’ll find Post-Apocalyptic attached to other subgenres; dystopian (most common), sci-fi, romance, paranormal, etc.
What did I decide?
This is the story I will be focusing on first. It’s 95% outlined. There are still holes I’m sure, that need filling but I tend to over-obsess about getting it “all right” first draft ’round. Pfft! Not happening. I wrote myself a post-it last night,
“It’s just the first draft. Write it. You can edit the holes later.”
I have plenty that’s ready to just draft. I have yet to go through an editing/revisions experience because it scares the living crap out of me. I know I’ll appreciate that process and all it does to help better a story once I properly experience one.
3. Adult Contemporary WIP
This graphic I just made above makes me giddy. This is also, one of my favorite genres to write. I am a sappy, Hallmark channel cheese, loving romantic. I love RomComs, I love couples with tension at first and then they give into the inevitable pull that turns to love. I have a few stories in mind but two in particular that I already have outlined. One of them, I had started writing for NaNoWriMo this past November.
What did I decide?
The reason I placed this one on hold for the moment is because it has a lot of deep emotions that will cause me to become very reflective. I’m not in the right place to write this one. I love both ideas. One is far more quirky and cheeky than the other and I can’t wait to write it. This is where I was struggling when it came to what I wanted to finish and present to the world first. The plan is, Post-Apocalyptic first, Dystopian second, Adult Contemporary after that.
Thank you friend, (you know who you are) for talking me off the emotional ledge last night. Now that I have direction, I feel a huge weight off my shoulders. I can write project two without guilt that project one is still sitting there, giving me the stink eye. I can set aside my most current project (three) and get in a better head space for when it’s time.
My hope is that this is the year I finish all three. Before you gasp–okay, you probably already did–I follow authors who bust out this and more. They work their asses off and stay away from distraction as much as possible. These are publishing deal authors with husbands and children. It is TOTALLY doable. This is a big goal of mine for 2016. Finish my books, Build my CRW company, Get healthy.
Now, if I get nowhere near finishing all three, that’ll be okay. The point is that I’m placing a metaphorical carrot in front of me. I’m hoping to get focused and stay productive.
Thanks for sticking around during this crazy journey. Lots to share this year on the blog and I’m excited y’all even take a second of your day to read these random ramblings.