This is the first thing I've written since my last blog entry.
First and foremost, thank you all for the helpful comments and kind words on that entry. I can be a very... driven sort of person about the things that mean the most to me, and writing is and has been the only thing I've ever wanted to do with my life for longer than I can remember. With that in mind, and considering my determination to keep pressing forward, it took someone else suggesting I take a break for me to really consider the idea.
It sounds insane to me now that I actually write it out, but I've never claimed to be a wholly rational being. Actually, I think I lost any claim to be a wholly rational being when I started saying "I keep universes in my head" when people ask me why I remember so many things.
But yes. I realized that y'all were right, and put myself on a much-needed break; I will resume writing on February first. This has been a very strange week. For the first few days, I didn't know what to do with myself when my usual writing time came around and I had to make myself not try to work on something. I've taken days off before, but that's different.
Taking the break, though, has given me some mental space and distance, so I've been able to take a better look at how I work and see how I could do things better. And yes, I've seen some things about myself that I don't like. >_<
For instance, I have real trouble letting go of ideas. As I sort of said in the last entry, a lot of the frustration I've been dealing with comes from trying to find ways to make things work. While I love it when a story or character just shows up in my head fully-formed, that doesn't happen nearly often enough, so most of my plotting time is spent trying to get the images and character bits and snatches of plot to come together into an actual story. And I have a major tendency to think of something new and immediately try to slap something or someone that already exists in my head into that new idea.
This is why I've written Shiloh & Alexi in so many books and in so many different incarnations. Also because I love them and love writing them, but that's different.
I also give up on things too easily. (I know this seems like the opposite of what I just said. Trust me, it's not.) This is something I knew, but my thoughts during this break have only made it more clear. Part of it is the usual frustration with the query process, especially as rejections for BoLR continue to pile up. I've been querying it for about two and a half months, and part of me already wants to set it aside and make something new. I mean, I'm planning on writing new stuff this year, don't get me wrong, but I intend to do that and keep querying. Not writing has shown me how eager I can be to give up on something in hopes that the next project will be the one that works.
After fourteen books, I know that I'll have to set some things aside to make any progress, but seriously? I've queried fifty-five agents so far and heard back from thirty-three. Neither of those numbers is nearly high enough to give this one up. And I haven't even started looking into small presses yet.
Anyway. My brain has, of course, not been completely idle; I've been taking down notes on something new but keeping myself from developing them further. And when I start working again, I am going to try working on some smaller stuff, as Rena suggested. I'll see how it goes. It's all a little intimidating, especially considering where I left off. There's always the fear that I'll end up right where I began.
But I'll give it another try, and another, and another. Because despite everything, I still think I'll make it someday.
"Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now." --Ernest Hemingway