And this means? (*curls toes* *squeals*) I've started writing a new book.
So don't send in the Hoarders crew just yet. I'll clean up in a few weeks.
But oh man. What an amazing feeling to start a new project. Yeah, I'm still revising/rewriting a manuscript I wrote before my last project, but there comes a point where your brain struggles to absorb what you're looking at. And your old book's playlist starts to grate on your nerves like corduroy on dry hands (maybe this is just me?) As much as I love my oldish story, I really struggle to deny myself shiny, new things. But this new story isn't just a shiny, new plaything.
It's like...okay, so the last few weeks, numerous people have asked me, "So whatcha you working on now?" And then I would say, "Well...I have this new idea," and so on, which would lead to me giving a sort of one sentence pitch, and then their eyes would widen and their mouths would kind of round out into O's, sometimes they would drool and squeak and stuff, and after enough times of this, I got to thinking, maybe...I should start writing this thing.
But this idea is freaking hard to execute. If I manage to pull it off, it will be the most challenging story I've ever written. I've put so many hours just into the research--most of which won't actually make it into the story itself, but which is so essential for me to understand this character and establish a strong voice. And the research is ongoing (hence the twenty-two Chrome tabs and seven nonfiction books [and five more books on order]). It's also a story that will involve some experimental writing methods for me. Don't get me wrong, it might turn into crapsnot. But those widening eyes and squeaks of "OhmygodIwanttoreadthatrightnow" are rather encouraging. I have to at least give it a shot.
But, also? I need to keep pushing myself as a writer. I've been writing for nearly twenty years now. I know, shoot me. So, by now, I've got a good handle on the mechanics of writing. I've got a good sense of my authorial voice. It's not that I've learned HOW TO WRITE PERIOD. It's that I've learned HOW I WRITE PERIOD. I mean, writing is still mad hard, you know? Drains me to tears sometimes. And I still need other people to tell me how schnitty my drafts are and what needs rewritten and/or flushed down the toilet before someone pukes reading it. But I've learned craptons about drafting and revision--and most importantly, what methods work best for me. It's sort of like when you hit your thirties, in that you begin to have a sense of who you are. Well, after so many years of practicing and changing things up and testing myself, I now have a pretty good sense of who I am as a writer. And holycrap that's an awesome realization.
But it's also kind of...stifling. Because 1. I get bored easily. 2. I work best under pressure. 3. I am the greatest me when I'm being challenged. Because of this, I have an obligation as an (*quote fingers*) artiste to challenge myself constantly lest I get swallowed up by the fugging slimy Kraken of Artistic Apathy. It is too easy to get lost in the whoredom of commerce, my friends (and I mean this in the Biblical sense*). Too easy to forget the art behind the sale, the story behind the book, the beauty in creating anew. Yadda yadda. The point is when I first started writing, it was because I just.had.to. It was not to publish or make money or friends--or to write the same old schnit. The only way to remind myself of this--to not get lost in the swirling abyss (and potential trauma) of publication--is to make sure that every new book I write outdoes the last one. There's no guarantee this will happen, but just the attempt keeps my head on straight--i.e. makes me forget to stop refreshing my email and nagging my agent to no end and dreaming about my own theme park. Also, it helps me forget about Snooki procreating.
*as in idolatry, yeah?
P.S. The winner of the signed hardcover of UNDER THE NEVER SKY by Veronica Rossi has been posted HERE.