Last night I went to the Sourcebooks Fire launch party in NYC at Books of Wonder where Tiger Beat performed. Per the description of the Books of Wonder website, Tiger Beat is: the worlds first (and maybe last) teen author rock band, consisting of authors LIBBY BRAY, DANIEL EHREHAFT, NATALIE STANDIFORD, and BARNABAS MILLER!
Needless to say, they were AWESOME. The room was jammed. It’s funny how many people I recognize from their twitter avatars even though I’ve never met them before (and ditto people recognizing me in much the same way). I got to hang out with awesome YA writers. Had a blast.
And now I’m feeling reenergized and motivated to work on something. Except, two problems. One, I’m heading back into NYC today for more of TEEN AUTHOR FESTIVAL at the New York Public Library including an all day collection of what appears to be amazing panels on YA writing with squee-worthy authors. So time is minimal. And two…I abandoned the project I had been working (or more accurately, NOT working on).
I say this because normally I would not condone cheating on one project with another. But there were a lot of things stopping me from completing it and that made me super unproductive. For one, it seems like the subject will be an up and coming trend based on agent tweets about common slush pile topics and query-forums where I see 1 in 5 writers working on the same subject. Not to mention a recent 7-figure deal that sounds eerily similar to what I was working on. Every time I tried to sit down to write, I would psych myself out and wonder if this project would never go anywhere because by the time it was ready for submission, I’d have already missed the boat. This was a project I’ve been working on for almost 4 years, though only 6 months in book form. It had started as a TV show pitch that a major cable network almost bought. It took a long time to figure out how to adapt it to book form because the medium conventions are so different. I have a detailed outline, but I had trouble motivating myself to write it. Plus, I’ve been also worried because it’s SO different from the project I’m currently querying and my last completed novel, and I think I should try to brand myself as an author by writing books that fit better next to each other on shelves. Finally, I think I figured out that I’m just burnt on this project.
So a few days ago I allowed myself to start mulling over that other project that had been POKING at me with giant flashing neon lights and blinking, WRITE ME, WRITE ME! And wouldn’t you know it? As soon as I indulged, the entire plot and characters came together. I ended up waking up early and writing a huge scene by scene outline yesterday of the entire book. I’m sooooo excited about this project. This is where my muse has been hiding!
I feel like a huge burden has been lifted and I feel it in my bones, this is the right decision. New Book, I love you already!
Now, you may think that I’ll do this again in a few weeks, get sick of the new project and want to cheat. But I really have never done this before. I never abandon projects halfway through. I’m good about following through and finishing and revising. Which is why I knew something was wrong with the other book because I *couldn’t* finish.