Cheri's Hypertext Monster

27 Jul 2021

2021-07-27 Writing Journal

Writing Journal

I have three stories all muscling their way forward right now. It’s fun to bounce from one to the next like kid at the playground. Swinging across the monkey bars tears up your hands and makes your shoulders sore. Three spins on the merry-go-round leave me feeling dizzy for an hour. And the slide is pure wheee all the way down.

I’m spending time in the dark emerald city, in a smoky nightclub in 1960s Vegas, and on a tropical island for which I’ve created maps.

Working this way is inefficient, but since when is efficiency king? I’m growing into my craft. While I can whip myself into achieving a daily wordcount if I must, I’m trying to be more sensitive to what my creative brain wants. Mostly, she doesn’t like being locked in any one place for too long.

You want to play on all the toys? Fine, my business brain says. Have at it. Just be back by dinner with some fresh words in your bucket, okay?

To which my creative brain replies, That’s what I was going to do anyways, before flipping the bird and skipping off, her pigtails flying.

Meanwhile, my business brain is considering how to spend the rest of the year. After I finish writing Hostile Takeover I’ll have time and space to start new series for the first time in years. And boy, do I have a lot of characters clamoring for attention! It’s hard to choose because I want to choose them all.

It’s a balancing act. I’m making room for the new, keeping myself open to adding books to ongoing series, and trying to be realistic about how much I can do at any one time. On top of that, I’ve been wanting to create a time buffer between when I finish books and when I release them. I guess I’m thinking like a publisher now? I can’t just drop a book on people’s head with no warning. I mean… I can, but there are better ways.

So what do do with the second half of the year? Business brain is full of opinions.

  • She says I should release just one more novel this year: Hostile Takeover.
  • She suggests I write write a fun “bonus story” for my Ellie fans and release it over the holidays, probably for free, to keep them warm and happy.
  • Otherwise, business brain says, I should haul ass on starting two awesome new series for 2022, but hold off on publishing anything until I’ve built in the lead time I want.

I’ll consider her proposals. In the meantime, pigtail girl is busy yelling wheee! She’s writing stories that business brain approves of, but it’s best to act as if everything is pigtail girl’s idea. It makes the work go more smoothly if we treat her like the diva she is.

It’s rare for all my brains to be in agreement. What a splendid development!

I’ll take it. 😋