Howdy, howdy! Yesterday was Dad’s birthday, so I want to say another quick happy (belated) birthday to him! Feel free to leave him a greeting here or on my social media pages and I’ll pass it on to him. Anyway, this week, I want to ramble a bit about figuring out when to switch projects and when to power through the slow points, which is something I really struggle with. I was always encouraged to finish a project before moving on to the next one. But what happens when you try to push through the mental wall blocking you from the story and three months later you’ve only managed to move forward thirty pages? When is enough enough?
Lately, I’ve been feeling a little (okay, extremely) stagnant when it comes to my writing. I fully admit that I haven’t been working on that front as much as I should, even though I have no excuse not to be writing. But the words refuse to come. I know the storyline and everything, but the novel doesn’t excite me at the moment. In fact, it doesn’t instill any emotions in me. That’s not to say that I’ve given up on it. Not at all. I know exactly why I’m lacking any emotional investment in this book (it’s the second book in my Demonic Jewels series, the first of which I’m querying agents with and I can only take so many rejections before I start questioning the entire concept of the series, but that feeling will eventually pass, I hope). And I’ve been trying to push through all of this for the better part of three months, but it’s proving impossible.
I’ve tried a number of tactics to get past the wall. I wrote some short stories then tried to go back to the novel. Didn’t help. I worked on revisions to a different novel then tried once again to get back to Bailey and her crew. No luck. I even tried just plotting everything out in my head so I’d know exactly where I was going when I sat down to write (a method that has worked well in the past), and still nothing. What else can I do? Seriously, I’m open to suggestions.
However, over the past two weeks, some characters who have lived in my head for many years (at least 12) have been pushing their way to the front of my mind. Normally, they only bring vague story ideas with them, but this time they have something concrete that I’m actually super in love with. It’s well outside of my wheelhouse, combining fantasy (I can do that) with a cozy-esque mystery (not so sure I can pull that part off) and a dash of romance (will probably fail miserably at that part). But I’m excited just thinking about it, and the last thing I felt this way about I finished in record time. So, I’ve decided to put Bailey on the back burner again while I revise my other novel-in-progress and write this new one. Is that a stupid decision? Maybe. But if it gets me writing, who cares?
What about you? What do you do when you can’t get past a block on a project? How do you know when it’s time to set things aside and try something else? Leave your thoughts or comments or questions here or on my social media pages!