I am happiest as a writer when I’m neck deep in the throes of creating a book-length manuscript. I already knew this. I found it out while I was writing my first novel. Here’s the revelation for 2017:
I am a mess when I’m between projects.
I am out of sorts. I am a wondering vagrant. I am like a bear roaming from campsite to campsite in search of some morsel. I think I have a concept for the next novel and when I start trying to form the idea I find that it’s flat, empty. No delight. It’s like sand through my fingers. So I pack it in and move on to the next idea – the next possibility that might, just might, hold the excitement that I so desperately want to recreate.
It has gotten ridiculous. Not only am I jumping from idea to idea – metawriting for months on one of them – but I’m circling back and revisiting ideas thinking, hoping, digging, imagining there will be fire there when before there was barely a spark.
This is new territory for me. This is my first stint between long-form projects. I have no idea what to do, how to act. I don’t even know how to think about my writing in the midst of this. I feel useless. I binge on chocolate and episodes of The West Wing.
I’ve lost my way.
I know what you’re thinking. That I must fight through it. It is part of creating. I must put my head down and keep trudging through the woods. That I’ll find the next project in time.
You’re right. And this will have been part of the experience.
I’m still miserable.