I’m writing this very much for myself. Trying to work something out. You are welcome to come along…
Years ago, when people asked me why I wrote, my flippant answer was, ‘Because I can’t play the piano. Or juggle.’ It was a bit true though. Since the scribbling gave me so much pleasure why would I persist with the piano? Or the juggling? More than one ball frankly & I’m pathetic.
In all the years I’ve been writing – pre- & post-publication – I’ve never tackled more than one story at a time either. My inclination has always been to focus on a single project – work on it until it’s my best endeavour. (Unless it’s no endeavour at all, in which case – kill it.)
Before Ghostbird – my first book – came out, I had an idea for two more stories. One, I quickly realised, wasn’t meant to be written & I dumped it. The other story (Working title: Underwater the Stars Shine Brighter) was more persistent & before long I was deep into it.
Enter the idea for Snow Sisters – out of left-field & itching to be written. In the end, it nagged & won the argument. Consumed, I set aside UTSSB.
I could have tried to write both. It’s a well-known fact: writers do this all the time. They say they like something else to turn to when the current WIP sags or they need ‘a break’ from it. This has never happened to me. It’s one at a time & sorry, new story, you will have to wait your turn because, ‘too many balls, okay?
With Snow Sisters published, I turned my eye to dear UTSSB. It was the least I could do. And damn if it didn’t happen again. (Hello, book about dancing & with a ghost* – of course I’ll write you!)
Having completed Wild Spinning Girls* – lined up for publication in February 2020 – I have returned to UTSSB yet again albeit with renewed enthusiasm. In fact, I’ve rewritten loads of it & it’s now a contender.
If you’re still with me, dear reader, you can probably guess what’s coming…
Yet another one – out of whatever field stories grow in.
Only this time, it’s different. I’m actually writing them both at the same time. I say ‘writing’ – I’m working hard to refine & finish UTSSB because I like it & I want to & it’s been so very patient. But I also have 7,000 words of the new one down & I want to write that as well.
Am I finally learning to juggle?
Asking for a me…