Yesterday our critique group met and, as is usual, I asked everyone what they happened to be working on. Part of the reason I do that is so I know what might be coming in for critique for our next meeting. Another reason, the most important reason, is to hold each of us accountable for what we are doing — or not. It is very easy to say “I don’t have time to write.” And, yes, there are times when that really is true. There are times when real life becomes so busy or overwhelming there just isn’t enough time in the day to accomplish everything that has to be done.
However, more often than not, we use the not enough time excuse as just that — an excuse. We still find time to watch TV, to play video games, to stare off into space. We hit the snooze button two or three times instead of getting up a few minutes early. You get my drift.
It isn’t that we don’t want to write. Often, when I find myself making excuses for why I don’t have time to write, it is because there is something about my current work in progress that is bothering me. It could be my subconscious telling me there is something about the plot or characters that isn’t working. It could be that I’m at that point in the story where I’m uncomfortable because it hits too close to home. It could even be that my craft has taken a step forward and things don’t quite feel like they did before. It happens to all of us. The key is finding out why.
That is sort of where I am right now. I have finished the rough drafts for two novels — one is a very big departure from what I normally do and, as a result, I’ve fought it for several years. Skeletons in the Closet is part romance, part supernatural I’m not quite sure what and part humor. I could handle the romance and supernatural part. But the humor — where it came from, I don’t know and I found myself fighting it all the way. Because it is so different from what I’ve done before, I am going to let it sit for a couple of months before going back to do my edits before sending it off to the betas. I know I need to look at it with fresh eyes and without the “WTF was I thinking?” that I still feel when looking at it right now.
The second draft that is finished — and it is in very, very rough form — is Nocturnal Serenade. I know it needs a lot of work, as in filling in descriptions, expanding some scenes, etc. By the time I finish, another 30k words or so will probably be added. If anything, this reads right now like a very detailed outline. But it is the way the book came out. I think I know why. I have been pushing to finish drafts before LibertyCon. That way they aren’t pushing on me for a few days when I know writing isn’t going to happen.
The next book I need to write is Honor from Ashes. I have the basic plot in mind but it isn’t quite there yet. Part of the problem is Dagger of Elanna, the follow-up to Sword of Arelion, is pushing to be written. Then there is the military fantasy that has been playing at the edges of my imagination for a couple of months that is finally starting to take hold.
I have a feeling, I’m going to be writing several projects at once — if I can find the time. 😉