Lately, I’ve been less than excited about writing. I started a new project back in September and in the past four months I’ve managed to force out a truly crappy first draft. The amount of revising this thing needs basically amounts to a complete rewrite. And I’m so not excited about putting in all that work. I’m tired of these characters, and working on this project feels more like a chore than a creation.
Yesterday, I finally admitted my frustrations to my agent. I wanted to quit working on that book, maybe even quit writing completely. But even thinking that felt unprofessional. I kind of expected my agent to yell at me, except she’s super nice and so not a yeller. But I expected so form of tough love.
She reminded me that the book I’d been laboring over for the past four months is not under contract. Nobody is requiring me to finish it. So if I don’t want to finish it, I don’t have to. And if my muse is no longer interested in that project, it probably means deep down I really want to be writing something else. Her advice was to listen to my muse and write the book that I really want to write. Once I get that other book out of my system, maybe I’ll have a new found energy to go back and finish my revisions/rewrite. Or maybe I’ll never come back to this project. And either way, it doesn’t matter.
This permission to quit was a huge relief. But I still had no idea what to write. I feared I may never come up with a good idea again. I felt that way for maybe two hours. Then BAMB, full force assault of a great new book idea. I have a half a dozen great characters all chattering together in my head. I have a plot that I feel passionate about and genuinely want to write. I have a book that NEEDS to be written.
I haven’t started this new project yet. I probably wait until this weekend. But I did jot down a few notes of scene ideas. So far I have just over 20 scenes that I know I want to include. Maybe I won’t wait until this weekend to start writing. Because this story really wants to come out. My agent was right, there was a reason I didn’t want to write that other boring book. I wanted to write this book. And unless a book is under contract, you always have permission to listen to your muse.