What’s Next?

So, it’s been a little over two months since I submitted my novel to a contest and I find myself really missing the intense focus and work it required of me. I’ve allowed myself a break. Space to decompress. To start reading again. To wander in pieces of writing practice and meander through morning pages. But now it’s time to find that focus again. To find the next project. I have four possibilities: a draft of a novel I wrote for NaNoWriMo a few years ago; a flash fiction collection; a story collection; a YA novel and another vague plan of a novel that consists of a few pages that emerged from some writing prompts. My plan is to layout out all of the various pieces of each project, type them up, organize them on the computer then commit to working on each project for 1-2 days each and see if one pulls at me over the others. I’d like to have a new draft of something done by October when is when I expect to hear about the contest. That’s a little ambitious considering our summer is jam-packed with my daughter’s high school graduation, then the party and lots of company. So, maybe by the end of the year is more realistic. What I don’t want to do is sit around for the next six months waiting on the contest results and not accomplish anything else.

I’m curious how others fill the gap between projects. And how do you select the next one? Does it select you? Please share your experiences in the comments or a link to your own post about this.

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6 thoughts on “What’s Next?

  1. Gap? There are rarely gaps in my life – writing or otherwise. Maybe there should be. Running a writing related business and also working on my novel, and blogging, means that as soon as one project is finished, I’m on to the next one. I like that.

    • Fi- I know, it’s a tough problem I have, huh? 🙂 I’m trying to appreciate having this time, thinking of it as mental sorbet, cleansing my creative palette before plunging into the next story.

  2. I’ve been struggling some time with two novels, flitting between each, back and forth, back and forth and thus accomplishing very little. But I can’t seem to decide which to focus on. I think it stems from fear that neither will turn out as great on paper as they are in my head. I am trying to do Camp NaNoWriMo this month with one of them, just so I can get some words down and maybe follow it in an alternate direction. But so far, I’m behind! And it has introduced me to splitting it into 2 books and so now I have another book to think about!

    • Andrea- I’ve felt torn between several simultaneous projects as well. When I finally focused on the linked stories and finished them for that contest, it felt amazing. And it’s better to have too many ideas than none. I think that would terrify me. I love NaNoWri for the sheer productivity. It leaves little time to fret. Just get those words down. Good luck!

  3. I love the phase you’re in (and I’m about to be in myself soon!) right at the start of a brand new project, deciding what to do next and having it be so full of possibilities! 🙂

    I think your idea to work on each of them a little and see which grabs you the most is a great idea! I always let a project grab me too. In fact, usually I have to keep them from grabbing me before I’m ready to work on them, lol!

    • Laura- ever the optimist:) I am definitely trying to let myself see it as a time ripe with possibilities.

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