Write Something New

For the past year, my writing has been centered around my first and second novels. Editing, re-writing, adding, taking away, querying agents, researching publishing options, etc.

As much as I obviously LOVE my first two books, I can’t deny that I had really been missing that moment when you sit down at the computer, full of inspiration, and write a new story for the first time.

So, after some super stressed out (near-break down) kind of days (Most of which I created entirely by myself because I am a writer and thus, I have my neurotic moments.), I thought that it would be nice to take a little break and write something new – whatever my imagination was dying for me to write. And so I did.

It was so therapeutic and energizing that I wanted to share the experience on here if it might help a stressed out or somewhat uninspired writer.

I highly recommend that writers do this every so often. Yes, if you are in the midst of publishing/editing your work then of course that is most important thing, but sometimes you really do need a break from it. Artists need to always be creating something to do well. Writing down a new story is like taking a breath of fresh morning air.

I ended up just writing the equivalent of two pages, but the new piece brought new life into my veins. It was something I have wanted to write for ages, but I did not want to allow myself to pursue something new (When I have 3.5 books in the que for publishing – with 2.5 of those in need of serious editing/rewriting)!!).

But, really, I think a writer should give herself/himself permission to write something new. I took one night off from editing my soon to be published book and that was all I needed to keep me sane.

Just my two cents. 🙂 

Do you agree or do you think that this could side track you too much from your current project?

Let me know your thoughts.

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16 thoughts on “Write Something New

  1. Congratuations for (A) finishing a novel, (B) obtaining an agent/publisher, (C) reaching a stage where STARTING is a ‘relaxing break’! Sheesh, I’m proud as a peacock that an original plot finally came to me and that I have actually written out 4 pages! I’m absorbing the simple joy of knowing the difference and relief, between researching my idea and actually getting the sentences out.

    I will definitely stick with the inspiration of project 1 before composing anything else. In no way would initiating multiple stories make sense here. But on the days when I’m unsure where my plot goes next and I’m done editing what I have so far; I keep up my writing by bloggin here. 🙂 Thanks for a lovely, inspiring blog.

  2. I definitely agree with you! Lately I’ve been getting into flash fiction to get the creative juices flowing. They’re generally under 1,000 words each, and working with such a short form is completely different than working on a novel. That in itself is rewarding and a breath of fresh air!

  3. cmriedel,

    Thank you for the kind words! And yes, good point about blogging – it is different from novel writing and thus a good break. 🙂 All the best with your first book!

    Aly,
    Such a good point about flash fiction. I have done a couple of pieces and you are so right about the rewarding feeling you get after writing it. Sometimes, a novel can even flow out of it down the road.

  4. You’re post is so timely! What a great idea to just write something completely fun with no expectations. I think this is what the doctor ordered. I’m going to take a day off of editing tomorrow to write a few breaths of fresh air!

    1. You guys must be good at thinking up ideas. I’ve been relieved for my first original plot to come. Really: we’re talking years waiting for a great story to strike. But I’m also learning I *could* be over-thinking the concept of “never been done before”. I suspect tons of authors keep a similar formula. Fans don’t care as long as protagonist, story, setting differ (or not even all of those).

      Maybe I’ll feel different after getting into plot 1 further. MOSTLY, rubbing elbows with fellow writer-types is uplifting, haha! As a gal giddy to be on page 4, acquainting & creating her first world; I have faith I’ll become like you. Finished a draft, en route to publishing / agent-acquisition. Driving newbies nuts saying “Oh, I just whisk out a new story as a coffee break”.

      1. You will get there soon. 🙂 We all write at different paces. I have always dabbled with stories since I was a kid, but it was not until three years ago that I finished a (very rough) book.

        I must sound a little crazy complaining that I dont have time to write new stories when I am about to publish two books. I guess it’s more the working during the day that factors into that. Things would go much quicker if I could just write full time. *sigh* haha

      1. well….there are seriously in progress…haha. But thank you -didn’t realize I should feel good about that. 🙂 love your post btw–very poetic.

  5. Great post Sara, my thoughts:

    Burnt out on your plot? Sick of seeing your characters faces in your head like they’re a bad decision fling that turned into an even worse two week long “attempt” at a pathetically meaningless relationship? Is re-re-re-reading what your world looks like starting to give you migraines like tattered, peeling bathroom wallpaper you never have time to rip down?

    But you know your novel still needs dozens of hours of re-writes and self editing?

    Sucks. Especially since the traditional “real/serious/pro” writer advice is to power through and find a way to make everything work perfectly and brilliantly but now that we’re all living in the Blog-o-sphere you can read all about the day to day nuts of bolts from countless “real” writers.

    In the real world taking breaks from stories is perfectly normal and acceptable. Forcing something that hasn’t yet “fermented” in your head or just “isn’t there yet” is just a frustrating and counter productive excercise in futility. I’ve done lots and lots of that. However, just like the athlete or musician writing is something you have to get up and do everyday I think.

    My prescription: take two weeks off and write a short story!

    Oh wait, we’re living in the e-pub-verse. Write your short story in twelve days then. With the last two you should be able to self-edit your own short and pay 50$ for a simple but effective cover. Upload.

    And plug the hell out of your next novel on it with the best 15 pages you have done so far! You never know, that oddball, off the top of your head (or pulled out of your ass?) short story idea may take off and get you thousands of new readers!

    And all those new readers want to see that “upcoming” novel now.

  6. Oh your first paragraph made laugh, Dave. 🙂 And so true – we do need to step away from the editing and re-writing sometimes rather than force ourselves to hack away at it. A little distance can sometimes help us view our project with clearer eyes and can really save a writer a lot of work, I think.

    If I am ever feeling super burned out, I might just take your prescription and take about two weeks off (guilt free) and just write something new. Hmm…maybe that is what writers should be doing.

  7. I’ve always written in numerous forms: letters, formal reviews, essays, poems, my articles here. I haven’t TRIED for the big kahuna until now, an actual book. I knew, when ridiculously young, an author is what I could easily be. I got the idea I had to get basic shit out of the way first: move from my parents, feel like an adult, figure out who I was going to marry. Like we aren’t allowed to do what we love for a living right away. Time to pursue what I love NOW.

    The main deal is I treated novel 1 like it has to be my movie-making masterpiece. While that can occur, I’m learning to just write it down! Figure out how we get to the plot. When I sit down, paragraphs comes out very well. When unsure what’s next, I leave it for a day. By morning ideas bug me so much, I have to type. I saw for myself, the blanks fill in. I will churn out more stories (later) if I don’t think of their outcome. Just enjoy storytelling.

    I feature an unstoppable author in today’s blog. Phyllis A. Whitney published 75 books from age 40 to 94. Holy shit. She didn’t worry if Ron Howard made them into “DaVinci Code” thrillers. She didn’t worry if formulas sounded similiar to others she’d done, or if critics thought so. She just said hey, here’s another weird family or mysterious house folks will want to read about. That’s as silly as a musician trying to compose notes no one’s used in a song. I was doing that, over-concerned with originality. Thanks for letting me share. Anyone else experience the same?

  8. Oh, when you said “Like we aren’t allowed to do what we love for a living right away.“ it really hit home. I punished myself for years with this, thinking I needed to work hard and get a “real job`and just write as a nice little hobby. But then three years ago I thought. No, I just want to write. Life is too short to waste away at a desk job when you’re a creative soul. So I started to write lots. 🙂

    The great thing about self publishing is that you have a much higher earning potential than if you went with a huge publishing company. I have read countless posts and articles of agent represneted writers getting nothing more than their (modest) advance…and sometimes they even have to give some of that back to the publisher because their books did not sell enough. 😦 It can take a while with self pubbing, but it is well worth it in the end.

    I must check out your blog! 75 books! What a talented lady. 😀 Being under 30, I would be happy to achieve half of that in my life time. Wow!!

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