Stepping Away and Starting Over

I am writing three books right now. And revising - or soon to be revising - three other books right now.  Plus playing editor for all my fantastic authors! And working.

I'm a little crazy right now.

I didn't plan to be writing three books, but here we are. I guess in my defense, I am only actually writing one, book two of the trilogy. The other two books (SALT 2 and my love affair nicknamed SUPERB) I am crazy-detail outlining. I'm doing this while I wait for edits on DAYS (my newly finished MS), FMTD and SALT. And while it seems crazy to be writing so many things at once, I have never done it before and it's oddly satisfying.

And wow, second books are scary. (And exciting!) (But also scary.)

WAY back in October, I wrote this post that my WIP for Boundless 2 didn't feel right. Then, in December, my editor politely helped me see that the almost-finished version of B2 was best suited for the trash. She said to me, "I don't think this is the right story," and I knew she was right. I have to admit that while throwing out 60k words was a hard loss, but this weekend I started writing it anew (after some intense plotting) and I know after only being three chapters into this new draft that starting over was a great decision.

Before I could dive in, I knew I needed to step away. I was so frustrated at that draft that I was burnt out. I didn't want to write because it was so hard (mostly due to the fact that I was telling the wrong story.) I didn't want to start over, right or not. Plus, I started Follow Me Through Darkness in 2010. I'd lived in that world for years, with reprieve only during SALT, and I for the sake of sanity and quality I needed a break.

I had this other project sitting in my head and deadlines that run through early 2014, so it was the only chance I had to write something else. From December to April, I wrote DAYS (not real title.) DAYS is totally, totally different. A contemp from dual POV and out of my comfort zone but it did a really great thing: it reminded me why I love writing. It gave me joy again, brought me comfort, excitement and sparked something awake while the world of B2 took a rest.

DAYS is with my CPs and now I have started outlining SALT2 and SUPERB. I don't really have time to write SUPERB, but it is this great love of my heart that keeps me going when I need to switch gears from B2 or need help getting out of that Neely's head. (She is intense.)

The great thing about taking a break before I started writing B2 has been that I now see things more clearly. Aspects of the world that I forgot or didn't see before are vibrant. Two months stands between FMTD & B2 so sometimes I have to look back on the first book and see what happened, which is what a reader has to do and why authors add those recaps of previous books. Neely has changed a lot in those two months. I feel, that since I have changed too, it's easier to connect with her. Plus, I actually just started but I have 16k because there are things from previous drafts that I get to keep!

Sometimes things seem overwhelming -- like throwing out a whole book -- but don't underestimate the directions they will take you. Or the people who suggest them. Especially if it's your editor! Editors know what they are doing! Trust him/her/them. You are a team.

And as far as writing: it always has to be for you. This is what I am learning. Yes, I have deadlines and I'm not going to miss them, but I can write other things too. When writing stops being enjoyable, then it translates into the story you are writing. So find joy, be happy, have fun, write!

Oh, and enjoy these gifs...because everything is better and happier with Dean Winchester.

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