Last year I started pitching, arguably, the best book I've ever written. Since then, I've struggled to come up with the NEXT book to write. The book I'm pitching has series potential, but every piece of advice I've read from every editor and agent in the industry says that writing the sequel to a book that hasn't sold is a waste of time. It's investing time in a project that may never go anywhere, business-wise.
So I'm trying to write the next book. And I've started four different projects, only to have them fall flat. A few of them start out great, but once I get into them, the conflicts resolve themselves too easily. I outline another project only to find that the characters are flat. The conflict is irrelevant to the protagonists. Too much Deus (pronounced DAY-oos, not deuce, because it's latin for God, not 2) ex Machina.
It's a tough place to be as a writer. I hate sitting still and just "thinking" about writing. But I hate wasting time on bad writing that's also not going anywhere.
What does it mean for this writer? Well, I'm going to do something that, in seventeen years of writing, I have never attempted: I'm going to participate in NaNoWriMo.
Over the years, I've had many reasons not to participate, and they've evolved over the years. One of the biggest has always been that I've been in the middle of other projects when November rolls around, and I'm not going to put books on hold for something that's intended to get new writers to take that first leap.
So why participate this year? Well, it starts on Saturday. I'm tired of starting projects and not finishing them. NaNo is a personal challenge for me to finish a first draft THIS YEAR! Finally, why not? I should just dive in and do it.
This year of false starts will not end badly if I have anything to say about it. I'm not a quitter. Just you wait and see!
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