Sunday, August 25, 2013

Spinning Wheels: So What Comes Next?

 “Amateurs sit and wait for inspiration, the rest of us just get up and go to work.”
Stephen King

The last words I posted when announcing I'd finished the revision of Scurvy Dogs! were "Now what do I do?" That wasn't hyperbole. I've spent two years with Scurvy Dogs! as my focus. It's done (for now.) What comes next?

I'm not referring to the next step. That's clear enough. Wait for and incorporate any of Tori's comments, send it to Eddie the Agent, wait for his thoughts. Meanwhile, wait for Eddie's notes on Chance. That's a lot of waiting.

And I'm hampered by the fact that as soon as those things happen, I have to work on those projects. Chance has a lot to recommend it, but is likely to need a lot of work. Starting a new project today that I'm just going to have to jump in and out of as other work intervenes doesn't sound appealing.

It's not like I don't have other ideas to work on, thoughts that seemed promising, which I jotted down. But at most I have a couple of weeks to work on any of them before other things will intervene.

On the other hand, I don't have time for dithering, either. I am not a young man and my lifestyle does not conjure images of long years ahead of me to do all the work I want to. I feel like the lover in Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress.

Had we but world enough, and time,
This coyness, lady, were no crime.

But at my back I always hear
Time's winged chariot hurrying near;
And yonder all before us lie
Deserts of vast eternity.

Yeah. So I need to get to work I want to take a look at my failed third novel, The Bones in the Closet. There was something there that had the kernel of a good story, but it went off the rails really badly. Very frustrating experience, and it kind of scared me. Got out of control and made me wonder if I really could do this, despite the fact that I had written two previous books I thought were pretty good. That failure made starting Scurvy Dogs! a little nerve wracking. Although in the end, I really think it's my best effort yet.

Perhaps I have just enough time before all the various notes start coming in to look over Bones and figure out what went wrong and how to tell the story I thought I was going to before the story got lost – literally – in the forest.

If not, I've got three ideas on the list after that. The point is, I'm a writer, so I should write. It's part passion, part compulsion – and part a job, without the luxury of taking time off. But launching the next project is another leap of faith.

Like Stephen King said, "The scariest moment is always just before you start."

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