I posted a few sentences from my "guilty pleasure" project yesterday, but here's the full opening paragraph:
Some people worry about going to hell, but I go there everyday. It smells like bacon, and there’s a never-ending supply of heart attack–inducing food leaving the kitchen. You have two choices for seats: eternally sticky red booths, or chairs that could break under your weight at any second. The devil himself runs the grill, barking out orders with zero tolerance for mistakes. Most people call him Old Man Parker. I call him Dad.
Ah, there's nothing like a book you shouldn't be writing, no? There's no pressure—it's just something to mess around with, something to stretch your writing muscles, something FUN.
When I mentioned this on Twitter yesterday, @Lee_G_Malone said to me: Every book is the book you shouldn't write. I had to laugh at the truth of it. I mean, the shear act of writing a book is insane. It's so much work—and for the most part unpaid work. And yet there are thousands and thousands of writers tapping out books they shouldn't be writing.
And strangely enough? Those books we shouldn't be writing always seem to turn out the best. They are the ones that end up having that all-too-necessary spark. They are the ones that we pour our love into, and it shows. Not to say the "should be working on" projects suck—because they don't—but the "side projects" are the ones that keep my creative juices going, so that I CAN work on what I should.
TRANSPARENT? I first wrote it as an outlet project when I was neck deep in edits on another book.
SIDEKICK? My outlet when I was editing TRANSPARENT.
HOUSE OF IVY AND SORROW? My beautiful distraction while I've been on submission.
The new one? Something to play with while I edit SIDEKICK.
Notice a pattern? Yeah. I, uh, write to take a break from writing. It sounds ridiculous, but it's totally true. It's just how I work. There's nothing like a fresh story to play around with. It keeps me going while I edit, while I wait. I wouldn't be anywhere without the stories I shouldn't have written.