Smart Might Not Always Be Best. Maybe?

I pride myself on having some writing discipline.  When I finish writing one book, I already have ideas for the next book, and probably the one after that.  I usually let myself write the first chapter, sometimes even the first few chapters, before I make myself stop to work on plot points and character wheels.  I won’t let myself play with more chapters until I have enough plot points to finish the entire book.  I’ve learned the hard way that if I cheat, I pay for it later.  I’m SO not good at winging it.

All that said, my left brain and my right brain don’t always agree.  Some characters and some books pull at me even when I tell them to go away.  That’s how I am with Muddy River.  I have ALL of the plot points I need to write my next Lux mystery.  I’ve even started it, and I like it.  I’m excited about it.  I have 20 plot points for the first half of my 7th Jazzi mystery–the book I mean to write when I finish Lux.  And I’ve written the first chapter of that book, too.  And it feels good.

BUT…today I sat down and started a new Muddy River.  I couldn’t help it.  No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t get excited enough about either of my other mysteries to push the stupid thing away.  Muddy River is where I let my imagination off its leash.  It’s NOT smart for me to write another supernatural mystery.  They’re not selling.  But my brain needs to have some fun before I devote myself to anything else.  And Muddy River, for me, is where that happens.

This time, and from now on, I’m compromising by not writing a full length book.  I’m going to aim for 40-60 pages and self-publish it as an Amazon Kindle short read.  I don’t need to write 300 pages to make my brain happy.  Just a short play time will do the trick.  I’m not expecting much to come from it, so I can’t be disappointed when it bombs like the others.  And that should worry me, right?  But it doesn’t.  I’m giving myself permission to write a few almost certain failures, because if I don’t, I’ll fizzle and burn out and my writing will become forced.  So, for the next week or more, I’m going to be fighting bounty hunters in Muddy River, battling shapeshifters and Succubi, and having a really good time.

Here’s hoping you’re enjoying yourself, too.  And happy writing.

6 thoughts on “Smart Might Not Always Be Best. Maybe?

  1. I think you have a good plan. Your Jazzi mysteries are entertaining and kicking butt in sales. If you want to go play in another realm where maybe the stories won’t match the same level of success, there’s nothing wrong with writing to please YOU.

    Keeping them as short reads is a brilliant idea. You still get to have your fun, but the time commitment is less. Personally, I love your Muddy River stories. And I’m excited to discover Lux when those are published as well. Write on! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this. Nothing I write really sells. The Hat did great, but everything flatlines after a while. I generally write to please myself and have fun doing it. Hopefully, a few people will enjoy what I produce. I knew from the start my baseball book wouldn’t get much attention, but I had fun. It gets good reviews from those who took the chance. You should enjoy doing this, because almost anything else pays better.

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  3. Must admit, Judi, I’m not familiar with your Muddy River books, only having read the Jazzi mystery series. But, you’ve got my imagination already as I usually wouldn’t venture into that Muddy genre–but if it’s a shorty? I could do it. Now, I have another problem–that one I’ve mentioned before where protagonist’s names tend to surface in successive books. Just read one whose protagonist is Jazz. But having read yours–every time I read Jazz, I thought, Jazzi.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Isn’t it odd how you think you come up with something pretty original and someone else has done the same thing? I was pretty happy when I thought of Jazzi being a nickname for Jasmine, but it’s almost impossible to be completely original:) I went to hear Carl Hiassen at a book store once, and he wrote a book about a governor of Florida who ran into the everglades and lived off roadkill. He thought that was a really unique idea until he got mail from readers who told him about their favorite roadkill and one even sent him a painting of his. Who knew?


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