Saturday, March 12, 2016

The Pros & Cons of Focus

I am not a writer who constantly has six different ideas going on all at once. Despite my procrastination tendencies, I tend to focus on a single idea at a time.

Now, this isn't to say I don't have a lot of ideas-- I've got plenty -- but I don't try to make notes on them or write snippets on them, let alone try to write them at the same time as any other project. Currently, I'm working on Dead Metal Magic, my parallel dimension story with a PTSD suffering former soldier and her badass assassin lady lover. I've been pretty solidly focused on this project since the tail end of October.

I've got one Kitsune story (working title is Biting Butts) that I've had brewing in my brain for about two years now, but it's never been the right time to work on that. Jenn Basel and I had come up with an idea about two lesbian witches being matched up by their familiars (which I still want to do some day because hilarious shenanigans).

My point is, even though I have a lot of ideas for future projects, I always focus on a single book at a time. And this has its pros and cons.

One benefit of this is that I don't get confused on what goes where with which project, and I get to spend a lot of time with the characters and the world. Beyond that, I also get where I'm going a wee bit faster than I might otherwise.

One consequence of this is that I get burned out faster, as well. When I hit the last stretch of You Can't Fix Dead, my last project, I was so burned out. I just wanted to finish the damn thing. I barely bothered with basic description, just trying to get the plot over and done with so I could take a break. Don't get me wrong, I loved the story. I still do. I have so much love for the characters I created and the emotions that I poured into that book.

I recently went back and read a good portion of it, and I have to say that the book contains some of my most emotional and poignant writing. But it also contains some of my laziest writing as well.

I'm trying to learn how to recognize my burn out signs. Am I avoiding the book? Am I actually burned out or am I just stuck? Did I write myself into a corner? Have I gotten bored with a specific storyline, and if so will my readers get bored with it?

But to be perfectly honest, I also struggle with depression. So I have to determine what is legitimate burn out and what is depression creeping in to screw with my progress?

It's been about two weeks since the last time I made real progress on DMM, and today I'm headed up to the coffee shop with April Holec so I can try to get some work done. I'm hoping that my lack of productivity lately has just been depression, and not burnout.

1 comment:

  1. Ugh sick. Boo and gross. I hope this month treats you better