I really hate it when I change my mind. I planned to work on a non-fiction book for a break from the world of the Swan Harp, and then to get into the third book. But it’s just not holding my attention, that non-fiction project, and so I’ve decided to shove it back into the bottom drawer and do a little work on a different novel.
The one that currently has my attention is “Here be Dragons”, which I need to recast as YA. I have a first chapter for it already, and a good idea of the story arc. I’ve been doing my research, off and on, for a couple of years. And I need to let the world of the Swan Harp rest for a bit before I get back to it.
The thing is, I hate waffling. I want to choose a course and take it, and that’s the way I’ve been most of my life. So when I say I’m going to work on a particular project, and then I find that something else is demanding my attention, I feel a serious conflict about what I should be doing.
First off, you all know how I feel about people who write only when the Muse is on them. Me, I find the Muse shows up if I write. Sometimes she doesn’t really feel like working, either, and she’s whining into her coffee cup and distracting me with biscotti, but one way or another we get the job done.
On the other hand, I believe in following the Muse when she does show up, and right now my Muse is saying, “Look, you can fight me on this, and wind up grinding your teeth in your sleep because you know you really want to write this novel. Or you can just give in, save your teeth some stress, and motor on down the page. Your call. I’m the Muse, but you’re the writer. I’ll just go find some biscotti while you think about that, shall I?”
So I figure I’m going to capitulate on the project. Writing is supposed to be self-rewarding, right? I’m eager to get on with the novel, not so much the book proposal. The Muse wants to do the novel, I want to do the novel. Probably my dentist would prefer I do the novel, too.
I also think about The Last Black Swan – the things I need to fix, or add, or change, the way I need to finish it off so that it’s a free-standing story, but leave it open enough that the third story fits naturally into it. At the moment that’s left me with one unresolved situation. I don’t much care for that, because it smacks of “BUY MY NEXT BOOK!” So I need to sort that out. As I said from the beginning, this is spit-it-out-and-fix-it-later.
In the meantime, however, I have printed out the text to The Last Black Swan and am carrying it around as though it’s my favourite teddy bear.
Because I’m – aw, you know. A novelist.