Wow, guys, what a week this has been! Who knew airing my dirty laundry would garner such a wonderful response from so many writers? I've been busy reading all the wonderful comments, emails, and response posts, and just...wow. Writers are the bestest people ever. Thank you all for making my week!
Now, since we've been serious for a couple days, it's time to lighten up the mood around here, don't you think? I have some advice:
Don't be afraid to cheat on your manuscripts.
I know, I sound evil. Writers are supposed to finish their WIPs before they start another one. That's responsible. It's the right thing to do. That's how you get books done and pretty and ready to show off.
But sometimes that's not very...fun.
Especially for writers who do have agents or are under contract, it's so important to keep the fun alive! Give yourself a day to tinker with that shiny new idea. Let yourself play around in a new genre. Pound out a short story.
Let's face it, sometimes the writing we have to do gets boring. Or we get overwhelmed with it. Or we start to hate it and all its suckiness with a bitter passion. And then we want to not only delete it, but fry our hard drive so we'll never be tempted to open it ever again. You know, rational things like that.
When I get like that, I've found the quickest cure is to cheat. I have sekrit projects. I don't work on them all the time, just when I can't take one more second of editing or ohmygoshIwillscream.
The sekrit project? Oh, how I love the sekrit project. There's no pressure. No one looking over my shoulder saying "Is that really a book that fits in your 'brand'?" No, it's just me and the words, like it used to be when I was 13 and I'd hole up with the old Mac in the basement. I get to write for writing's sake. It's for me. It doesn't have to be perfect because no one will ever see it.
The best thing I did this year was finish a "sekrit project." It boosted my confidence, to actually finish a book and enjoy doing it. It sparked my imagination. It reminded me how much I do like writing. And most importantly, it has motivated me to get back to that book I need to edit. Because I feel like a good writer again, and that was worth the detour.