What’s Next?

I always seem to run into the same problem right about now. I’ve essentially recovered from the chaos and madness of November, had all of the holidays to rest, and now I’m ready to get back on track–not only with stuff like my eating, but also my writing. I want to have a new project, something to be excited by, something to really delve myself into.

And I have no idea what to write.

It’s not for lack of projects. Lord knows I have a billion and three things I could be working on. Plenty of drafts that need to be completed, stories that need looked over, all that jazz. But NaNo always makes me want to write something new. Inevitably, this is how I end up with six thousand unfinished drafts.

So how do I deal with this? Do I come up with yet another new idea, and hare off on some wild and crazy adventure…and likely end up with another abandoned manuscript lost in the wilds of my hard drive? Or do I buckle down and return to a world I already know to continue on?

I know I have edits to do for REVOLUTION. Those are easy, though, and once I put myself to the task, it’ll probably be a matter of days before those are done and I can start thinking about finding a cover artist and whatnot. But I still have SOMEWHERE I BELONG, my first of the Xenia Angelus trilogy, that is in desperate need of being rewritten. I have RATHER LARGE PUDDLE, which is in the middle of its second or third rewrite, and I can already tell it’s going to need to be done over again. And of course there’s QUEST TO KARANTIRI, the serial I keep desperately wanting to post, and then never get far enough in the process to actually write. I’ve gotten very good at opening the document, though.

Outside of that, there are the two other books in the Angelus trilogy which are little more than concepts and failed NaNo drafts (neither more than 9000 words or so), I have NOBLESSE OBLIGE, which is the midst of a major overhaul that I need to take care of before I continue… I have WRONG NUMBER, my thriller that’s about…half done and a little less than half-baked. I have THE OTHER SIDE, my anthro YA novel that I’d desperately like to finish and send on its way because I’ve had the concept in my head for so long… I have OFF THE RECORD, my contemporary romance between a musician and a tabloid reporter, and of course I have VOICE IN THE DARK, this year’s NaNo’s book, which needs expanded on and fine-tuned. (Not to even mention the inkling of an idea I still have for the sequel to REVOLUTION.)

That makes what, …ten projects? Eleven? Just off the top of my head that I know need reworked, finished, or more? Not counting the two or three I have ideas for written on my whiteboard, or the few more I likely have scribbled in other margins somewhere, or the myriad more I could inevitably come up with if I wanted to? Yeah, I’m at no loss for projects. If I actually buckled down–which I am hoping to start doing this year–I could produce a good chunk of fiction in not too long of a time. But I’m proving bad at that–

–which brings me back to where I am. The fact that I end up paralyzed by this grass-is-greener issue with my books. The new story is always more interesting…and sure, it is…for the first while. And then I get 30-40k into it and I flop over somewhere and I pick a new topic. This is not conducive to being a novelist, and it’s not going to get me anywhere fast. So I need to make a decision. I’ve dicked around for long enough. My goal is to have the edits for REVOLUTION done by the end of the month. February I’ll start looking for artists and whatnot…and we’ll see where the timetable goes then. But I’m getting this ball rolling, and I’m going to be ready with my next project. This is what I want to do with my life. This is my dream, my purpose, my mission. This is my calling. And I’m tired of acting like I haven’t found it.

It’s time to get moving. So to channel my favorite President, Jed Bartlet…

What’s next?


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