Wednesday, June 5, 2013

My Insecurity For June...



So great to be able to post for the Insecure Writer's Support Group this month. (Thank you, Alex!)


This month, I’m insecure about starting a new project. I’m not ready to leave the world from my last WIP, and I kinda want to stay there for a while. But with it done, it’s time to move on and jump into something new. I do have a fresh idea that I’m excited about, but it takes a conscious effort to get mentally in the right place and create a new world.

Plus, I sort of feel like I’ll be cheating on my other characters. Which is silly, because I’ve written two novels before this last one, but my latest book was special to me, so it’s extra hard to move away from. Have you ever written something that encompasses who you are? A story that’s so you you wonder if you even have something else to offer? (Which I also know is silly, but it’s how I feel).

So it’s hard to move on from that.

But I’m slowly getting there. I’m excited to dive into a new world and see what else I can create. But if any of you have advice with how you *cough Jolene* can flip from one project to the next so quickly, I’d love to hear it. I’m kind of a one project at a time girl—not used to working on many projects at once like some of you brilliant people—so I’d love to know how you’re able to categorize different projects in your brain.

Any thoughts? Do you work on more than one project at once? And have you ever had a hard time leaving a story you’ve written?

Red. Head. Out. 

53 comments:

  1. I've never done more than two projects at a time, but it takes a lot out of me to shift from one to the other, so I avoid it as much as I can. It looks like I'll be working on FOUR books this summer at various stages. Kinda freaking out about it. I'll be back to read what others suggest about dealing with it. Good luck with the new project.

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  2. I can tell you how -- except it took me 2 years to break free of my first MS. Once I did that, and I'm on my next one, I kind of feel a lot more FREE. Like, gosh, I can write so much more. But if I think about it for too hard, I kind of fall back in love with my first MS and its characters and I worry that it'll never get published if something happens to me. So I can't think about it too much! But I don't like that philosophy of denying something. I think time is your only ally, now. It's going to be hard. Not much I can tell you other than that, this coming from someone who was in your shoes. It'll be very, very hard. And it'll feel HORRIBLE for a while. And you'll keep jumping back to the old one. But one time, enough will be enough and that old one caused you too much pain and it was too hard, and you'll be happy at finding a new world and characters to love :) Think of writing a new MS as getting more people to fill your arsenal of characters!

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  3. I think it's normal to have that sense of self latched on a book you've just completed. It'll take a while, but you'll get there able to write. I feel similar after completing a short book of flash fiction and poetry. I need to find out when I'm ready to get back to the sequel to my first book. The time is nearing, but not quite here yet. :) Writer’s Mark

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  4. I have tried working on two projects at a time but one mc always ended up being louder and pushier than the others so I couldn't do it... unless of course an agent/editor insisted I do. But so far, that hasn't been a problem :(

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  5. Its so hard to move on to a different set of characters. Like, getting done with one set of friends to get acquainted with another.

    ........dhole

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  6. I know what you mean, you become so involved with your characters it's hard to leave them behind and create new ones.

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  7. After being with the same character for years, yes, it's difficult to move on. That's where I am as well. Maybe we'll both find a way.

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  8. Maybe Byron becomes a ballet dancer?

    But I hear you - although I think you both have absolutely nothing to worry about:)

    Morg, your mind is full of awesome ideas... all you got to do is find a few moments among the madness of life and let your muse free... right now, she's a bit nervous, but if you let her go, she will come back (with an *outstanding* idea:)

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  9. My current WIP has been in a drawer for a year - in the meantime I was working on another novel, but I was never really into those characters, because I love these characters more. Yes, it is hard. I like to write a couple of short stories before I embark on a new project - it cleanses the palate!

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  10. When I wrote short stories and articles, I was always working on two or three at a time. I thought that technique would carry over into my novel writing, but it hasn't. Once I am immersed in one book I find it difficult to switch gears. Right now I have two novels in revision stages and a new one in the planning stages. Mostly my mind is just boggled and I get nothing done. I must find a way to regain my focus on just one of these projects if I ever want to move forward.
    The fun thing about a new project is pretty soon you will be getting to know your new characters and will become entangled in their drama as well. Have fun with it!

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  11. I am usually so tired of the current book and eager to move on to the next...so I don't know how to help!!

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  12. Oh this is funny, Morgan. So I don't write fiction, but I do write nonfiction and sometimes, after I finish an essay especially where I've really immersed myself into the words, I have a "coming up for air" sensation that is weird. I really want to stay in the warm waters where I am. And I'm always afraid it will be the last best idea I ever have.

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  13. It's always scary to jump into a new project. On one hand, you're excited about it, but there's still so much you don't know about how it will turn out that it's easier to stare at an empty page. Sigh.

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  14. I've been wondering this about myself as of late too. I hope with time I'll be able to separate from my current MS and focus on a new world. Mostly I'm waiting for another MC's voice to take over my brain. :) Once that happens, I know I'll be good.

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  15. Our characters are so much a part of us it is hard to let go. I do this with my favorite books too. I don't want to move on. I read and re-read my fav parts, over and over because I don't want to go on to the next book. But guess what? There is always another book that grabs my attention and I can put down my old favorite and find something new to love. The same is true with your writing. It will suddenly happen that you start to love your new characters just as much as the old.

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  16. It's always tough to head into 'uncharted territory', but don't feel as if you're cheating on your other characters...maybe think of it as just adding new ones to the family?

    Either way, I'm sure you'll excel :)

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  17. I have a system for just this problem. It goes like this. I write a first draft. I know myself enough to know that when I first finish a draft I'm stupid in love with it (specifically, I'm so in love that I'm stupid). I can't edit from stupid in love. So I put it away with a promise that I'll be back.

    Then I write a completely different project. It's not cheating because I've told my first book when I'll be back. It just has to get in the editing line. That's all. And after I've written a second project, I put it away and go back to the first. It's the only way I know how. Good luck.

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  18. Years ago, I was easily able to work on several books at once. Now I like to focus on just one book or editing project at a time.

    I had the exact feeling you did after I finished my contemporary historical Bildungsroman in February 2011. I'd carried this story around in my head for so many years after last working on the discontinued original first draft, and then only three months after finally beginning again, it was already over. (I'm probably the only person anyone will meet who can do a 397K first draft in three months!) I couldn't bear to say goodbye to them after only one book, but quickly put the unplanned sequel on hiatus. It's important to take time to unwind and give yourself some time away from your characters and their world. Subsequent books with them should be better-planned, and not begun immediately after finishing the previous one.

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  19. I'm no expert but I find that doing research on my world- be it language, geography, food, music, what-have-you helps me dive in to what I'm building. The more time I spend reasearching the more I find my characters speaking and interacting with environment i'm building. Oh! And pictures! Looking at pictures helps a lot too.

    Regardless, remember that there's a lot more words in you and you owe it your story to get it out.

    Good luck!!

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  20. For me, moving from one project to another is way easier when they fall in the same genre. I tried moving back and forth between a sci-fi story and a contemporary story and that was just hard. It does feel strange to leave behind a story you've spent so much time on, but it's also kind of exciting. Good luck with your new story, Morgan! :)

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  21. Yeah. I feel that way sometimes when I finish reading a book. I don't want to leave the people or the places.

    You made me laugh out loud with your "cheating on your characters".

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  22. That's awesome that you want to stay in that world, I rarely feel that. I can't wait to start my next project! You'll have to let me know how you do it ;)

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  23. Sorry Red, can't help you. I'm a monogomous writer too and have no idea how some people move so quickly from one thing to the next. Unless you have to move on right now, maybe don't push yourself and let it come about naturally.

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  24. I totally know what you mean--I hate leaving some worlds and usually have a hard time getting lost in a new one. I find a good playlist helps me, with something totally different that encompasses my new project. It helps me get in the right frame of mind at least :) Good luck on your new project!

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  25. Maybe having a mistress will be a good thing until you fall in love and leave behind the other, lol

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  26. I replied to your comment on my blog, but I will say it here as well- you are the best, Morgan. As for starting a new project, it can be agonizing, but at least you can always come back to those characters from your last book. They aren't going anywhere. :)

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  27. Morgan, I TOTALLY get how you are feeling. Starting something new is terrifying. What if I don't finish it? What if it sucks? What if I do finish it and it sucks? What if I finish it and needs so much revision that...^*&$@!!!!! I am currently revising my novel (again). I got a R&R for it in March 2012. It took me until January 2013 to send it in. I then began to query. I got LOTS of full requests. Yay!!! All rejections - with the same rejections I got from my first round of querying in 2011/2012. Oy. Just heard back from the R&R agent - she still hasn't read my book yet... But I haven't queried any agents or anything since March (2013) so I am now going to revise. AGAIN. After a rewrite. And 7 revision rounds. I really really hope this is it for this book because, gah, I can't take it! I kind of want to go back to my new WIP - it sits nicely at 21k and doesn't give me any of these problems.......yet. ;-)

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  28. I feel sometimes like that after reading a good book. I want to know what happens next.

    Great post.

    Nas

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  29. Oooo I can't wait to hear more about this new project! I think it'll just take time and as you develop and work on your new project, it'll take hold. (:

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  30. I remember feeling guilty because my parents bought me a laptop so I could write. (My two homeschooled kids and I were competing for time on the desktop, and I was losing. LOL)

    When I got my first novel finished, I wasn't sure if I'd ever have another story in me, and I was afraid to admit that to my mom. ...But then I wrote a sequel. And then I decided to write a stand-alone historical. So I do understand.

    Take the plunge into something new. Before you know it, you'll be loving that story and those characters, too. ;)

    IWSG# 123, until Alex culls the list again. :)

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  31. Oh boy, this is sounding like how I'm feeling with the novel I'm working on write now. My second novel, which feels very, very me. We'll see what happens when it's done!

    Sarah Allen
    (From Sarah, With Joy)

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  32. I try, but it's hard. I find that I work mainly on the one and just in little bits on the others. Too many going on at once makes me a little anxious. Like what if I start to confuse my characters (which has never even come close to happening)!

    Thanks for the fabulous welcome to IWSG! You are too awesome, darling friend!

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  33. I know how you feel, Morg. I write film reviews and I get immersed writing it, so I don't want to leave the words I wrote, especially when the film was excellent. However, if a film wasn't that good, I just want to get the review done with, so I don't keep reminding myself how terrible the film was.

    And *AWESOME* post, my friend! Loved it! :)

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  34. I came up with an idea for my first MG novel late May and decided to jump right in by making it my first time Junowrimo project. So I'm taking a leap in a new field as well. Just take the leap Morgan, no matter what you won't regret it.

    Queendsheena
    IWSG Co-host

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  35. I think it is hard to start a new project! :) Especially when you come off a more polished piece. Good luck starting new!

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  36. New projects are fraught with all kinds of insecurity, but look for the excitement, too. That might help. Good luck.

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  37. Good luck, Morgan! You can do it! :)

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  38. I tend to juggle manuscripts, working on two or three at a time.

    Good luck on your new project. It is exciting to start one.

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  39. Like you, I only work on one story at a time. I have to get "in the zone" when I write, meaning I need to be wholeheartedly in the mood to write in that particular world, with those characters. Jumping from one world to the next isn't easy for me, and I lose focus. I would, however, like to improve on that. I hope that someday I'll develop the ability to switch gears between projects. Good luck transitioning to your next story, Morgan! I'm sure whatever project you take on will be great!

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  40. Switching projects does require a complete mental readjustment. And I've totally had the feeling I'm cheating on characters or a story. It means you were connected with your story and characters and it means that it means that the readers will be able to connect to it too.

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  41. Morgan, I struggle with starting new projects. Even now, months after I "finished" my I-couldn't-write-a-better novel, I'm still flowdering in my WIP. I'm forcing myself to move forward, but it's hard. I do feel that "cheating" feeling. It takes time to switch focus and embrace a new storyline. Best of luck. *hugs*

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  42. My previous work experience taught me to juggle projects. I like the idea of not being stuck on one thing. On the other hand, I have six unfinished things. So maybe that's bad.

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  43. I usually have a couple of projects going at once. That way, if I get stuck on one, I can switch to the other for a "change of scenery." Sometimes it works better than others.

    Best of luck with your new project!

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  44. MORG,

    You are a whirlwind.... Movement should be a BREEZE for you. I get your apprehension... it's FEAR.... You've conquered and WON this time. Of course, you don't want to leave the security of you cozy, little world. It's completely understandable.

    NOW... MOVE.. LOL. All kidding aside, there is so much security in our current works. Why do you think I haven't written anything new in years. I keep plugging along on my first two novels. But that must end soon too. CHANGE IS a WONDERFUL thing. New ideas, NEW characters to LOVE, NEW settings. SUCH FUN.... And to think only YOU can create them. There must be young boy or girl SCREAMING for attention. Will it be y/a again or... perhaps N/A a bit more sizzle? Hmmm. Any thoughts? OR it may be about an m/g story, with a cute redheaded moppet getting into all kinds of mischief. The skies the limit.... Go with tugs at your heart the most.

    Say farewell to your former loves and fall in LOVE all over again. We want to, too! I will be anxiously waiting to read your next WIP.... until then know we are here in the background CHEERING you on!


    And... thank you for the amazing comment you left for me yesterday. I am back to editing today, thanks to you....

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  45. Morgan, this is so exciting! I do have trouble starting a new project, but the funny thing is, once I start the new one it's hard to let go of it as well. You'll fall in love with the new one as well :)

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  46. I'm a one-project-at-a-time girl. It's because I pour so much of my time and self into it, it's hard to focus on anything else. It also makes it hard to start a new project, but once I get going again, I do the same thing. lol.

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  47. I'm lucky that my new WIP is a sequel to my last one. I don't have to say bye to those characters yet. :D

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  48. I'm sure you'll be okay... you are such a bundle of positive energy...
    Good luck with your new project!
    Writer In Transit

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  49. ...definitely a tough subject to touch on, Morgan, one I've yet to conquer. For me, I simply go with whatever the muse insists upon. With several projects in the works, and a couple ongoing, whichever story is on my mind when I wake up, that one rolls to the forefront. So on and so forth... ;)

    Good luck!

    El

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  50. I'm just getting back to making the rounds so I'm a bit late on this one but I'll bet by now, you've taken the leap and you're all into that new WIP.

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  51. It's refreshing to start something completely new, but definitely scary. I've been writing about--living with--the same characters for the past four years, and to move on to new ones is a bittersweet feeling. I'm sure you'll find just as much passion in your new cast as you had in your previous as you develop them and become better acquainted. It will be exciting to hear about how it develops! :)

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