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So there you are, sitting with your Shiny New Idea, playing around with some sort of outline or synopsis or train of thought that helps you decide if it's Worth Pursuing. You're waiting for it...waiting for it....then all of the sudden BAM, you get the realization that:

A) This idea would most definitely make a kick ass book.

B) You kind of already know what happens for the entire thing, or at least know a way to outline that would get you there.

This is the part where you get super giddy and constantly tell your writing BFFs how freakin' excited! you are to write it. You're feeling it, it's feeling you, whatever. Then you log on and look on Blogger/Goodreads/Twitter/WHATEVER and realize that everybody is going nuts over the exact sort of book that you just cooked up in your head.

The feeling that follows is an ugly half-and-half of excitement and fear. On one hand you are super happy it's on demand, but on the other hand you start panicking like hell and start thinking things like:

A) How long will it even take me to write this?

B) Are readers going to be over it by the time I do?


Then comes the urge to write this thing in a time period that breaks your own personal record by months. You set unrealistic goals for yourself. You start stressing about numbers. 10K by this time, 30K by that time, 50K by the next. You force things out of yourself in an effort not to fall short to your goals, and in the end feel just as crappy with your 10K of almost-completely-unusable rambling. You convince yourself to overlook major plot holes and character inconsistencies because you just need a first draft, you can fix things later, it's just important to finish.

And just like that, the idea of your Pretty New Project conjures the same feelings as report card day after a bad quarter. Your brain will constantly remind you that you didn't put your 100% in, that at this point you are only writing after the idea, that your project is becoming a skeleton.

It happened to me once, and after taking a 10,000 word detour I decided to scrap the project and start completely over, without having any mandatory word goals or points to reach. Channel the passion for writing you had before you discovered The Writing Intrawebz and combine it with the knowledge you've learned from lurking around on it. Remember that while writing a book is pretty complicated, half the battle is realizing that the most important part is simple: write something that you'd truly love to read. Not something that you'd read and just pretend to like because you don't want to hurt the author's feelings, and certainly not something you'd have to talk yourself into liking.

Thanks to the big Do Over, I ended up beating my own personal record for speed and yielding what I believed to be the best thing I've ever written. Party! Confetti! Cake!

And after the party, and the cake, and your agent/beta reader has a ridiculously good reaction to the draft, comes the mighty exhale of you did it, relaxation and accomplishment and a new sense of quiet that finally gives your poor brain a rest.

Until, of course, the cycle starts all over again... *insert Vincent Price laughter*
Amy Lukavics

Amy lurks within the forested mountains of Arizona. When she isn't reading or writing creepy stories, she enjoys cooking, crafting, and playing games across many platforms. She is the author of Daughters Unto Devils (Harlequin Teen 2015) and The Women In The Walls (Harlequin Teen 2016).

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  1. Yes! I've felt this way before (more than once)! Thankfully, the novel I'm querying isn't something that's already spilling off the bookshelves - yet.

    I completely agree that writers should write what they'd love to read. That's what started me writing in the first place and I hope it'll keep me through my writing career.
    I write dark YA fantasy.

  2. I totally understand this feeling. It is so hard sometimes to just write it and not worry about what's going on around you, but oh the frustration of being just a little behind a trend.

  3. Great post! Really. The first novel I wrote eons ago, it didn't occur to me to actually check if someone else had written and published the same story. (They had.) I especially like your suggestion about writing the book you'd like to read instead of the one you'd politely say was interesting to avoid hurting your writer-friend's feelings.

  4. This happens more than any of us would care to admit. It's certainly happened at least a time or two for me. But I try to work past that and create some part of it that makes it distinguishable, however similar it may be.

  5. This post hit the nail on the head and that hurts!
    Come enjoy Pirate Alphabet starring some of your favorite authors and illustrators.

  6. Uh, So true! I kinda did that, and wrote it in record time. I'm almost done editing it (second round, this time with critique partner). And getting stumped over the last 2 chapters! AHH! I was supposed to be querying by now, so I'm frantic and doing the whole "I can't write" whining thing.

  7. Letting go of the i-net chatter and one's own internal critic (and constant word-count-o-meter, lol) and just writing with passion-- we all KNOW in theory this is the way to do it, but I so, SO understand how easy it can be to lose sight of that! Thanks for the reminder!

  8. I'm so glad to know I'm not the only one! You guys all rock, pretty much.

  9. I am not sure how long is an "appropriate" or "optimal" time away. But I would say 2-4 weeks maybe. ish.

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Item Reviewed: WAIT FOR ME! Rating: 5 Reviewed By: Amy Lukavics