So I couldn’t help myself. I was supposed to be working on the companion novella for book 3 but for some reason I was having trouble finding the MC’s voice. It was feeling stale and like I wasn’t discovering anything new. And maybe I could have pushed through it but there was someone else in my head, someone new, someone louder.
I found myself waking up to her voice in the morning, some new snippet of dialogue fluttering in my ear, some plot twist suddenly appearing when I was trying to work on something else. I felt the story threads going taught, things being stitched into place. It was magic and I couldn’t wait to get started. So I did, temporarily bending my most important rule—to always finish—and diving head first into something new.
I’ve written 15,000 words in the past week. That momentum I gathered during book 3? Yeah, still hanging around, and thank God. It feels great to be starting something new, to know that I can. That I’ve still got it, whatever “it” is. It’s a relief to say the least. Though I still feel bad for abandoning the novella. I’m not sure if I’ll finish it, I’m not sure if it’s meant to be finished. I hope it is, if for no other reason than that the last paragraph (which I’ve already fleshed out in my head) is pretty kick ass. It’s hard because I know this character is worthy of her own stand-alone. She deserves to be heard.
But as much as I’m against abandoning things before they’re complete, I’m also against abandoning writing altogether. Especially when I’ve reached some kind of creative stalemate with a specific project. Sometimes I need a break, to recharge a little bit and give my brain a rest. But sometimes taking a break rather than writing through the fatigue is one of the worst things you can do.
I’m not saying to keep beating a dead horse. But I am saying that maybe it’s ok to give yourself permission every once in a while to choose fun over responsibility. To indulge in something that reminds you why you love writing in the first place. Because let’s face it, there comes a time in the writing of every project where you not only loathe the thing but you probably hate yourself a little bit too for conceding to suffering that is entirely self-imposed. And while the suffering is necessary so is the joy which is why bending the rules every once in a while to accommodate that won’t just make you a better writer, but a happier one.