Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Jumping Out of the Comfort Zone

For a year straight I've dedicated my creativity to a single subject.  My first novel was promptly followed by a sequel and the beginnings of another installment after that.  I gave myself a little pat on the back.  I'm ahead of the curve!  If I find an agent to rep book #1 I've already got book #2 queued up and ready to go!  Woohoo!

I currently have a couple of submissions out and as I furiously typed the 'continuing saga' I realized something: living in the story was only increasing my anxiety over my submissions. We've all been there.  Sleepless nights, restless days, obsessive email checking, the urge to not stray too far from internet access, the constant second guessing... you get my drift. Continuing with the story was a daily reminder that these character's had all of my hopes and dreams thrust on their imaginary shoulders.

The worrying (and some well-written agent blogs) prompted me to face the very real possibility that this book won't be picked up.  I may not find an agent this round.  The idea might not resonate with anyone. Then I choked on my coffee when I thought about the fact that an entire year of writing has been dedicated to one story.  The story that might not fly.  So I shelved book #3.  My subs are still out and I'm not giving up hope, but I'm not putting all of my eggs in one basket either.

I came to my laptop on a rainy Saturday morning with a challenge: write in the first person. I'm a third person, multiple POV type of girl myself, so sitting down to write "I did this" and "I did that" terrified me.  But you know what?  It's growing on me!  I kind of like literally stepping into a character's shoes; living her life and seeing things through her eyes.   Plus it's a fresh idea, so unrelated to what I've been working on that it's taken my mind off of my obsessive-compulsive worrying.

I'm not saying that I've abandoned my trilogy, saga, whatever.  I'll finish it.  I need to have closure, no matter what.  But I am going to broaden my horizons and have a back up plan, because maybe this next project will be THE project!


Anonymous said...

HA...we are in the same boat. I wrote books 1 and 2 for something that isn't picked up yet...and I have been living these characters for a year. Well, yesterday I starte something new...a YA Urban fantasty...and it is AMAZING!!! The creative energy is so cool and so new. So keep it up will all happen for you in time!

Eric said...

Congrats. I struggle with switching to 1st person as well (and I don't think I like it or am as good at it), so I feel your pain. But I'm glad you decided to keep writing on something, even if its not on your trilogy.

B.J. Anderson said...

I hear you on this one! :) Been there, done that.