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.