If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be finishing up work on The Black Sun in a month or two. Really finishing—I’m sure there will be another flurry of work sometime in the future, but I’ve gone just about as far as I can go with this particular story right now. (I mean… assuming the next round of feedback is good.)
It’s kind of a terrifying prospect. I’ve been working on this story since the middle of 2017. I don’t think I’ve ever worked on a single story for this long without abandoning it, but now I can’t quite remember what it was like when I wasn’t working on this story. (Technically, I’ve been working on Violet Lane longer—since 2016—and even finished a complete draft in early 2017, but I only really figured out what story I’m trying to tell with that in the last couple of months.)
For the first time in two years, I’m in a position where I can start thinking about writing something genuinely new.
The timing is… interesting. I’ve said before that I’ve got a three-month attention span when it comes to my big-picture goals: that’s the point where the daily grind starts to get to me, and I start to lose sight of why it’s worth it. And because I almost always start the year with a lot of self-reflection and planning, the first of those three-month cycles tends to hit its low point in March. (That’s also why I’m setting 90-day goals this year. It works with my motivational patterns, and means I’ve got something clear to aim for when I start to lose focus.)
At this point, I know that it happens, and I’ve gotten better at recognizing the early signs. I know how to pull myself out of it before it gets really bad.
So, over the last few weeks, I’ve been doing the right things, and finding my ‘why’ again. My motivation is as high as it’s ever been.
I’m feeling inspired, but the stories I want to tell right now aren’t the ones I’ve been telling for the past two years.
It’s not that I want to abandon The Black Sun or Violet Lane—not when they’re just getting good. And I’m pretty sure that the next novel I’m going to outline will be in the same vein as those ones: sci-fi/fantasy infused YA with lots of action. (I’ve been turning this particular idea around in my mind for a year or two, and just found my way into the story a week or two ago.) It’s a good idea, and I’m enthusiastic about it. It’s just that I also want to write something that’s completely different—not YA, no sci-fi elements… hell. Not even a novel.
When I say I ‘want to write’ it, I mean that’s literally the only thing I can think about. I’m desperate to write it, and I don’t even know what ‘it’ is beyond a vague genre description. (… which is why I haven’t already started.)
Honestly, this feels like a huge step forward. A few years ago, I genuinely thought I’d never write fiction again, and now not only do I feel like I’m capable of finishing a story (more than one, even!), but I’m ready to step (back) out of the comfort zone I’ve built for myself and the stories I tell.
I don’t know what the next thing is going to be.
I just know it’s going to be fun.