When a writer is running hot on a writing project, it’s easy to write. The ideas are coming hard and fast. Creativity is at its highest. Everything is going well. You’re not always running hot. Sometimes, either you or the project grows cold for no particular reason. Burnout may be the case if it’s a long project. When that happens, it may be time to switch projects for a while. Writers usually have several going at once. A couple on the front burner. A couple on the back burner. Several in the desk drawer. That’s the case with me.
I’m in the middle of a long writing project that’s grown a little cold to me. It’s sagging. I’m not sure of the direction I want to take. I feel my creativity flagging. My ideas are not flowing as freely. My characters are getting boring to me. So, I’m going to shove it to the back burner for a month or two. I’m going to see if I get my enthusiasm back for the project. It’s a project that’s important to me, so I am, in fact, sure that I will. I need some thought, some new sources of inspiration, some time to sleep on it, some time to think of the direction I should take. Such a thing often happens to a writer in the middle of a novel or in the middle of any long writing project. You lose your way. Particularly if it is a complex story, with lots of characters and subplots. Mine is that – a complex story.
While I work on getting my mojo back for my long project, I’m going to tackle a shorter project. I think it’s going to be a novella. Novellas seem to be gaining popularity among the reading public as we have less time and more commitments. After doing my market research, there are new publishers out there for this shorter work. I’m not going to give too much away about my project, but I’m excited about it. I have a good idea which may actually dovetail into my longer project.
I wish I could switch as easily as you seem to, Rosemary. I am sure part of my problem is not doing a good job on the outlines. When I feel the cold coming on in the project, I will switch to something else only to discover when I try to pick up where I left off, I cannot remember actually what was going on or where I wanted to go with it.
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I don’t switch easily, Glynis. I have to go back and read the entire manuscript and familiarize myself with the project again. I’m embarrassed to admit that I don’t outline. I guess I have an outline in my head. I just write. I sometimes write individual scenes and then switch them around in the manuscript but outlining – never have done it. It might be something I try in the future. I’ll just say to you to go back and re-read your manuscripts and I think you, then, will know where you were going and where you wanted to go. Maybe what happens to me will happen to you. You will get a new perspective and go in a new, better direction!
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