About a month ago, an idea for a new book slammed into me so hard it almost ruined everything.
Too dramatic? Yeah, probably. But these are the kinds of things that catch us completely off guard. Here we are, just minding our own business, trying to finish that book we started many months ago and struggling to meet our daily word count goals, when OUT OF NOWHERE comes an idea for a completely new and unrelated story.
WHY DO WE EVEN TRY?!
You know that stage in your OMG I HAVE A NEW IDEA brain when you can’t help but think, “THIS IS THE BEST IDEA FOR A BOOK I’VE EVER HAD?!” Me right now. Granted, the best idea I’ve ever had for a book may not be a great idea in the grand scheme of things, but at this point in the process, DON’T CARE. This is one of those moments as a writer that makes me proud to have the weird, unpredictable, sometimes terrifying brain that I do.
This is probably the worst possible time for a new idea for a book to rain down on my life. I am still in the middle of finishing the book I started during NaNoWriMo 2015, and I do not – LITERALLY DO NOT – have time to start another book until NaNo 2016. (Trust me, I really don’t.) I have way too much going on. It’s my fault, and I’m trying to fix it, but the only way to fix it is to keep working on things that are not my current novel.
While this honeymoon phase of new book idea bliss is one of the highs of being a writer, having a new idea when you don’t have time to work on it is one of the lowest of the lows. I talk A LOT here about how saying you don’t have enough time to write is not an excuse, and it isn’t. But I do not have time to work on this particular project, unless I give up sleeping, which I can’t do because I’m fairly certain that almost killed me once. DON’T EVER DO THAT.
I love welcoming in new ideas and letting them stay awhile. But not being able to spend time with them is so, so frustrating and awfully discouraging. The thing is, I know it’s a good idea for another reason, and that reason is this: I’m willing to wait. I’m willing to let it rest up there in my head for five more months. Is it going to be hard? Yes. But it is going to be worth the wait. It usually is.
I learned a long time ago that abandoning projects, especially 61,000 words in, is a bad move. For me, at least. So I won’t be giving up on my current book.
But this new one …
I can’t wait to tell you about it. Stay tuned.
Meg is the creator of Novelty Revisions, dedicated to helping writers put their ideas into words. She is a freelance writer and an eight-time NaNoWriMo winner with work published in Teen Ink, Success Story, Lifehack and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter for tweets about writing, food and nerdy things.
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