Wednesday, July 22, 2020

The Importance of Momentum

So, I recently had to take a hard pivot in my writing life. 

I was chugging along on a Gothic romance and loving it, when it hit me that I only had six months left to write the fourth Menopausal Superhero novel and I'd better get that puppy going. I'm grateful that I have a publisher waiting for my work, and accept that having that comfortable situation comes with costs, such as deadlines. But it wasn't easy to switch gears. 



Getting back to the Menopausal Superheroes came with some extra challenges as well. While I'd worked through edits over the past year for two new novella releases in the series (third one coming in August!), which kept a hand in, I hadn't written anything new for these characters in more than two years. There's some emotional baggage with that, including a bad breakup with a publisher

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So, I started by reading my own books. Re-immersing myself in the world and making notes about little character details that had grown fuzzy in the two years I wrote other stuff. 

Re-reading your own work is a fraught process. If things are going well, you're growing and learning, so looking back at your old work can be painful. You're like, "Dang, I could do this so much better now." 

And I did experience a bit of that, but I found that I still love my characters and my world, which is good news since I've promised to write at least two more of these!

I guess I thought that as soon as I'd selected a couple of threads to pick up, I'd sit down and the words would just flow. 

But that isn't what happened. I struggled. Heck, sometimes I chose to work on peeling off old wallpaper in my office rather than tussle with my imagination. 

You'd think I'd know by now, but I'd entirely forgotten the role of momentum in writing. 

In some ways, I have a lot of momentum going. I write every single day, come hell or high water, whether or not G-d is willing or the creek rises. My daily writing chain is approaching seven years in length. In that sense, at least, I've got discipline at this point. 

That's some serious momentum. 

But it's not momentum on this project. The Menopausal Superheroes lost momentum in the struggles with that first publisher and the transfer of rights, then on-boarding with the new publisher. 

In the scheme of things, I did that quickly and smoothly compared to how badly it can go, but still, momentum was lost, not just with readers, but with me, the writer! I took on other writing projects and let the superheroes sit, waiting for their moment. 

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So, of course, when their moment arrived, it wasn't instantly beautiful again. Hopefully it doesn't sound too crazy to suggest that I had to work with the characters a bit again, to get them to trust me again and start talking to me. 

But here we are one month into working on the new book, and I've hit a good stride. 

I know I'll hit more walls and have ups and downs as the process continues. After all, this isn't my first rodeo anymore. Hopefully that will keep me going when the going gets rough again. 

But, for now, I'm happy to have made the first little hill on the rollercoaster. I'm strapping in, knowing the ride will get bumpy, but all so ready for the journey! Wish me luck. 

3 comments:

  1. Good luck with your book! It takes time to get back into the swing of things.

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  2. Thanks for this reminder. Even with my blog, when I was at my sickest and I had a hard time writing even one word, once I got a little better, it was difficult to start writing again. Creating a schedule and sticking to it, best I can, has made all the difference.

    Looking forward to the fourth book! :)

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    1. Me too! I have a working title: Be the Change!

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