I'm so completely shot for blog ideas this week that I'm writing a sequel to a previous entry, and this entry is itself about writing a sequel. It's like I already work in Hollywood.
So, yes, this is a continuation of last week's entry. Because despite my best efforts, I'm still unable to pull my head out of this one book and work on other things. Some of that is because I'm getting feedback from a beta reader, which has been awesome and helpful and will lead to a slightly updated version of the book going out to another two beta readers this weekend. (Seriously, I'm so happy to have this many people reading the book. And two of them have never read anything of mine before.) That's the good part. The part that felt good at first but now doesn't seem that way is that I've been working on the sequel to The Book of Lost Runes.
Is there a word for something that feels good and productive but at the same time could also be a colossal waste of time and effort? Because that's kind of what working on a sequel to this book feels like.
As good as I feel about BoLR, I know that it has a very high chance of ending up like every single other book I've written: stuffed into a folder deep on my hard drive, with nothing more coming of it than a learning experience and another number to add when I tell people how many books I've written*. I'm usually an optimist, but I need to be realistic about this or else the whole publishing attempt process will end with me sitting here alone and crying, and I've already done that once this year. So taking down notes for a sequel feels like the worst kind of wheel-spinning - like I'm wasting time working on something that has even less chance of turning into a book than most of my plots.
I think that's what gets me the most. Here I am, trying to get all these ideas in my head to form themselves into workable plots and characters and settings and everything else, and the only stuff I can make work is for places and people and things I've already established. It's like my brain is tired and only wants easy work. I do not like having a lazy brain. >_<
Now, I know that, if a miracle occurs and BoLR gets published, I'll be glad I took the time to scribble down every idea I've had for the sequel. From what I've heard and read and picked up along the way, if the publisher wants a sequel, I'll be on deadline for that right away, and it will only help if I already have the plot done so I can get started as soon as possible. But I've been at this too long to count on that happening.
I've been at this too long to count on anything happening, but that's mostly just me being tired and bitter. :P
Bottom line: as usual, I don't know what the hell I'm doing. I have a book that I love, one that's only getting better with the feedback I get. I have a story I really want to tell, one that's growing in the telling and showing me things I never would have guessed when I first started writing down ideas. But writing a sequel to a book when I have no idea if that book will ever get published feels like an enormous waste of time. And I'm having a hell of a time getting myself to work on anything else.
Is this why writers drink?
*To those people who hear that I've written over a dozen books and yet I'm not a famous author, and proceed to ask me stupid questions about it: I hate you so much. Maybe not forever, but in that moment? Yeah, serious loathing.