Ever since I released Promises to Keep on Friday, I have been suffering from a mega case of post-book burnout. I don’t want to do much of anything at all. Read? No. Write? Heck no. Watch TV? Not really. Housework? Pffft. The only thing that appeals is laying face-down on the bed and waiting for the day to be over.
I had the same problem after I released Dark and Deep. Eventually I got over it. I remember that, at that time, I was intimidated by the prospect of writing a sequel, and blamed that for holding me back. Now I realize that a lot of it was just come-down.
Things to keep repeating to myself:
1. If I write 1000 words in a day, I have done well. Yes, toward the end of a book I have 5, 7, and 9,000 word days. I also have days when all I do is edit. It’s a different world, the beginning and the ending.
2. It is okay to spend time re-reading what I have already written of the current book. During Promises to Keep‘s “mellowing” time, I got inspired with Before I Sleep and wrote 30K words of it. I love them, passionately. One other thing that appeals is re-reading them. It is okay to do that. It reminds me of where I was. It also counts as editing, which counts as productivity.
3. If I’m not “feeling it,” it is probably better for me to have low productivity days. Yes, at some level you just have to sit down and do it, but the scenes that I have forced are the ones that continue to be problematic and that require perpetual re-writing. At one point during Promises to Keep, when I was forcing it, Alex stormed off stage and wouldn’t work for two days. So please… let’s not make Alex angry. You wouldn’t like him when he’s angry.
I don’t have the “what’s the plot gonna be?!?!” heebie-jeebies that I had with Promises to Keep, this time around. I know exactly what the gaping hole in the center of the narrative is going to be. I realized it while I was doing the final round of edits on Promises to Keep. Lots of authorial advice tells the author to be brave and torture the characters. That advice is very, very correct. One brave decision on my part made everything fall together.
Now I just have to write it.