Doing the Wrong Thing

I’ve been in a slump. It’s been hard to take because I’ve been more productive in the last two years than I’ve been in my life. And I guess I knew it couldn’t last…

The thing is…I have some deadlines looming. And instead of focusing on those, I kind of got off track. I’ve been writing something completely new. It’s not part of any series that I’m working on, and it isn’t like anything else I’ve written. It’s mainstream, I think – not quite literary, but not genre… But it doesn’t matter. Because it has no ending and I’m disillusioned and I have to put it aside.

To be honest, this happens with every book I write. I hit about 2/3 of the way through and become disenchanted. I tell myself that the whole thing is crap, that it all sucks and that I should quit. And then I power through and finish it and turn it in, or publish it, and everything works out in whatever way it will… But I don’t have the time to power through with this one. I’ll have to come back to it…some day.

Because I have a second book in the series for Carina UK to write. And I have the third Girlfriends of Gotham for Swoon to write. And I have a third Wine Country Romance novel to write. And no one anywhere is waiting for this other book. So it’ll have to wait.

I decided this last night. Because with school getting ready to start again, and summer marching toward a conclusion, I’ve come to realize that having a book due October 1st means I ought to probably be working on it. And so this morning I began. I pulled up a brand new project in Scrivener, loaded my synopsis and got up at too-effing-early o’clock to begin a whole new novel.

And do you know what happened? It changed my whole day. My whole attitude. Maybe it was because it’s a shiny and new project. And any writer will tell you that it’s easy to find energy for projects that are shiny and new. But I think it’s because I know someone is expecting it. And because I know where it’s headed.

The new project was an effort at pantsing. And being a complete planner in every other aspect of my life, I’m not sure why I thought that not planning a novel would work out for me. But I’m hoping that at some point I’m going to decide that I learned valuable lessons from the effort. And that someday that novel won’t be on the backburner. Because there are parts of it that I really love and think are wonderful.

But for today…I’m back in the 1920s, writing about an Upper East Side deb that is doing things that are definitely not what her parents had planned for her…

Are you a planner or a pantser? Do you think that once you’ve gone one way or the other you can’t ever be the other? I haven’t decided…


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