What I’m Writing: Who’s Afraid of Amy Sinclair? (Hopefuls #2)
What I’m Reading: Next Year, For Sure by Zoey Leigh Peterson
What I’m Loving: CoversSellBooks, a site that makes it easy for authors to create promotional images/ads/3D renders for their products. I made the ad below using them, as well as one for BookBub that is proving more effective than any previous ones I’ve used. If you’re an author, especially an indie author, I think it’s a great resource (and no, I am not being paid to say this).
First off: The Private Life of Jane Maxwell is part of Kobo’s Labour Day Sale, so from Aug 30–Sept 4, you can get the ebook from them for only $1.99. Click here to purchase—no coupon codes required. Don’t have Kobo? They have a free reading app for your phone or tablet, as well as offering a variety of ereaders in their store.
The biggest lesson this book is trying to teach me, I think, is that I should never make declarative statements about what this book is or how it’s going. Because as soon as I do, the whole thing flips itself on its head again, and a statement I made five hours ago is now completely false.
Case in point: within days of my sparkles-and-rainbows check in last month, I hit a wall with my writing. Just, a complete dead stop in productivity. Which did not seem to make sense, because outwardly everything was going fine—I had an outline that was like 90% complete, I had energy and enthusiasm for the project, I was putting time into sitting at my computer with my word processor open, I had every intention of writing—but still, the words were not happening.
Now, here’s the thing. If something like this had happened to me years ago, I would have completely freaked out. But I’ve been at this gig for decades, and publishing professionally for almost four years now, and the truth is I have learned to trust my block. If I run down my checklist and everything easy or surface-level is cleared away and the path is free to write, and I am not writing, then there is something wrong with the story. At this point, it’s my job to stop what I am doing, and just sit and soul-search for a while to figure out what.
So that’s what I did, and it turns out there were two core problems with the way I was writing this book, and both of those problems were so deep that the only recourse was to throw away what I had done, and start over.
Again, this might have been devastating to me as a younger writer. But after more than 70,000 scrapped words and I think five complete overhauls on The Lady of Souls alone, I’m really not afraid of restarting projects anymore. The truth is that I am a fast writer if I know where the story is going, and in all honesty it takes more time to stubbornly cling to a failed attempt, than to just throw it away and begin again.
That’s where we are, then. My new outline is almost complete, and now I have entered the phase of manic typing while blasting opera to sing me through to the end. Not gonna lie: it’s a good way to spend the weekend.