The Silver Lining | March Madness Check in Day 19

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.

So how is everyone else coming? Would love to know your progress!
Will report back on today’s library events probably on Monday-ish.

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19 Responses

  1. Always trust the bones I say!!!

    I’m so jealous of your writerly life in NYC! That party last night must have been awesome and seeing all the major authors live. Wow!!! Have fun!

  2. Shana, yay for flashing neon lights! I’m so glad for you that you’re totally excited about the new project. 🙂 Also, I’m sooo jealous about Teen Author Festival….

    I’m going offline ’til the kids come home (6 hrs!), so I hope to have lots of progress to report later today.

  3. Can you smell all the jealousy all the way in NYC?

    Thanks for sharing, Shana. Happy for you, really. And have fun with that new project.

    Yesterday I read about the big sale of a book with the same premise of a story I’ve been working out in my head. I had the same reaction.

    I’ve done my thousand words for the day. This weekend won’t leave me much time for writing, so I’ll try to pull ahead tonight and then make up for the deficit on Monday.

    Have a great time at the library event. I look forward to hearing all about it!

  4. wow, there are definitely benefits to living close to NYC! Sounds like a blast.

    Go with your gut, I always say. Sometimes certain things are just meant for learning and growth and not for other people to read. Big cheers for your new love!

    I’m switching to revising a different wip for a while because I’m waiting for a reseach book I ordered from Amazon, before I can continue on with the original wip. As long as I’m writing something, I’m good.

    Happy weekend, everyone.

  5. The revising is coming along. I think I’m starting to get a better eye for what is backstory, character sketch and perhaps just not necessary.

  6. What an awesome picture! I’ll bet that was a great event, for sure. Wishing you luck on New Book. I am still plugging along on my revision — and it’s nice to be part of a group where everyone is plugging along, day by day. Happy weekend! Happy writing!

  7. Sounds awesome!

    My project is still psyching me out—I suspect it will until it’s “done” and I’m working on a new project, whether that means the book is published or retired. At times, I love it; other times, I think—look at all the flaws inherent in the story! It’ll never be good enough! Maybe I should work on something *new* (like these two new ideas floating around in my head, all shiny and pretty) instead of putting even MORE energy into this project I’ve had in one form or another for almost 8 years.

    But I continue writing, more because after 8 years, I had BETTER get something good out of this, than for any other reason. (And because I still like it, even when I doubt.)

  8. I am so jealous! I wish I lived closer to NYC so that I could go to all of this stuff I see posted everywhere!

    My WIP took an interesting turn today. I’m at around 1300 words right now, which makes me really happy. Not sure I’ll reach my 12,000 work goal by the end of the month (I’m about half way there), but I feel good, nonetheless. I’m excited that I’m ploughing forward on the WIP, rather than treading water like I have been. 🙂

  9. Well, I’ve used all my writing time today to get up a blog post – but it has pictures of my PRECIOUS new ARC baby. So that was worth it, I think. And the day’s not over, so I may just ditch my husband later for just a little while and try to get through a chapter.

    And yes, just add my jealous thoughts about NYC to the pile. But soon and very soon…

  10. Again, don’t ask.

    (Will the sickies ever end for my poor little kids?!)

    But I have been busy on another writing-related project concerning a certain MG group blog that may or may not be starting up soon. It has kinda taken over for now. So I have been busy, just not on my WIP. Poor excuse, I know, so I PROMISE to get back to it TODAY. PROMISE PROMISE PROMISE, dear WIP!

  11. I finished my 25th scene today! I met the goal! And I do have a beginning, middle, and end for this novel.

    I’m still working out my plan for the rest of the month. But for now, I’m going out of town overnight. Tomorrow, I’ll be going to Kim Derting’s launch for THE BODY FINDER and seeing Carrie Ryan on her tour in Seattle. Yay!

  12. I had such a good writing day. Almost 2000 new words (filling in holes in my VERY holey first draft). Tomorrow I’ve got a couple scenes I want to tweak and possibly rearrange, then next week it’ll be back to filling in holes….

      • Thanks, Denise. It was so great to have a commitment-free day to devote to writing — day off of work, no appointments, kids at school. (And I started the day by shutting off the modem so I wouldn’t be tempted to log on “just for a minute” and end up wasting away my time!)

  13. I’ve been so sick the past few days, I couldn’t even get out of bed. Every time I was awake I kept thinking, “I’m out of work, I should be writing!!!” But I couldn’t concentrate. I’m making up for it today, though. I’m holed up in my (now sterile) room with lots of water and my laptop and will power through the night.

    – Heather

  14. Good luck with the new project! Usually when a project is begging so much to be written, it’s a good sign you should give in. That’s what I did with my current WIP *g*

    Anyhow, I’m at 27k right now, so I suspect I’ll be upping my March goal from 30k to 35k soon. I’m somewhat worried about my overall word count, I’ll have to admit–I’m much further into the story than I should be with so few words. Whoops. Subplot time…

  15. WOW! Did 1,480 words today!! Well, technically it’s almost 1 am, but I’m counting it all as Friday. Bringing me to a new total of 15,677, far and away my record for any one project! Feeling good. 🙂 Loved the scene I just wrote too. It was a gut wrenching dream scene, and I had no idea how awesomely it was going to end! Love days like this… hoping for another one tomorrow!! Now it’s definitely bedtime! 🙂

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