I finished the first draft of my latest novel yesterday. One hundred and two thousand words (it had reached 106K at some point on the weekend but I trashed a scene that really didn’t work for me at all).
Now I can write whatever I want!
I hate that.
This is a dangerous time.
Speaking from my own personal experience, which I grant you I have precious little, this is a tricky situation.
I’ve just finished a novel as well as a big challenge.
It’s rare that I have something immediately ready to move on to after finishing something big, there’s always that feeling of loss and confusion. I always have the thought: “Whew! That was good, now I need a break!”. Bad idea. Bad! Bad!
I have to fight the temptation to “take a break”. Taking a break, unless it is absolutely necessary, is death to me as a writer (well as anything really, the same thing happened when I played guitar). I can’t “take a break” because whatever length I choose that break to be, it will be much longer. Out of misguided emotional drama in my youth, I took a break “for a while”. “For a while” stretched to 14 miserable years of not writing.
After Revenant, I took a break for “a few months” to let the story stew. That was in 2006, and while I succeeded in NaNoWriMo in 2007, 2008 and 2009, I wrote nothing of consequence and did very little to improve my mastery of the craft. Revenant, my best effort to date, lay untouched until this year.
So much wasted time. So much time spent not writing.
This can’t happen again.
Thankfully, I have a few things in the air which need attention. I have the serial, which doesn’t appeal too much to me today (that might change tomorrow) but it’s an option. There’s always some interesting flash fiction I could play with to keep up my daily quota of word count. I can scour the net for inspiration or just read a lot (which I do anyway).
I’ll figure something out and get 1000 words down today. I’m happier when I am writing. I’m happier writing when I’m working on something I feel has potential. Writing is easier if I manage to get my butt in the chair daily.
I can’t afford to lose another decade.