Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Lost that Lovin' Feeling

I've been at this writing thing now for six and a half years. And I've always been a one-project-at-a-time writer. I wrote this way through my first five novels--and it worked well. I simply wouldn't start into a new project until I'd finished the current WIP (work in progress).

But life can get complicated. It did for me. I was asked to write a non-fiction book on homeschooling by a different publisher (which will hopefully be released in 2008--fingers crossed). I started into a picture book project (which will hopefully be released in 2008--fingers crossed). I went on a month-long book tour in 2006. I went on an agent quest in 2007, with several prospects that eventually fell flat. And school visits.... And marketing.... And more marketing.... And throughout all of this "other stuff" I managed to get half-way through two different manuscripts--one middle grade, and one LDS YA. I seriously felt like I had writer's ADD. I simply couldn't focus because I had so many "spoons" in so many different "pots," and yet there was still no dinner on the table!

Am I alone here? Do you ever get so many writing projects going that you feel like your head is spinning?

So one by one, I finished each project to the best of my ability. I mentioned the hopeful release dates of the homeschooling book, and the picture books (all in the hands now of the publishers), and I finally finished the middle-grade novel, MAKE ME A HOME, which will be released in Feb., 2008.

That leaves me with a half-written LDS YA novel. And there is a reason I left it for last. IT SUCKS! Okay, not really. :) It has many really fun moments. But overall, I think I was trying to write a book that just wasn't ME! And the plot has serious issues. I think I've figured out how to fix it, but it would take a major re-write, which some day, I hope to get to. But overall, I've completely lost that lovin' feeling for this manuscript. I'm not even sure I had it from the beginning. It was more like a blind date that just wouldn't end. I've never before felt like I was "fighting" with a manuscript, like I have with this one. Am I crazy?!!!!

So what do I do?

I keep writing--but NOT on the previously mentioned LDS YA manuscript (we've pretty much broken up at this point, maybe for good). But, please, don't cry for me. You see, I'm head-over-heels-and-tingly-all-over in love with my current WIP--a totally different LDS YA manuscript. And this one is ALL ME!!! I don't feel like I'm trying be some other writer when I work on this manuscript. And it feels pretty dang good. To quote my character, Allie in MAKE ME A HOME, "I feel chocolate-chip cookie good!"

I'm in love again!

(And again, I must ask the question--am I crazy?)


Tristi Pinkston said...

You're not crazy -- you're a writer! Although -- aren't they the same thing?

Marcia Mickelson said...

I get that same feeling too. I usually start a new book when I lose the loving feeling. That's why I have several unfinished manuscript. I do usually get the loving feeling back and then go back to work on one of the unfinished. I have no loyalty.

Candace Salima (LDS Nora Roberts) said...

Nope. You're not crazy. Tristi got it one . . . you're a writer.

elasticwaistbandlady said...

You know why I like you, Tammy? Because you write nice books for YA without the T&A. And family values doesn't come up M.I.A either. Yay!