Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Losing and finding the spark....

I read Molly's post on Monday with a lot of empathy and nodding.

And what people might not know about Molly is that she has those days where she'd rather procrastinate than write... but somehow she still finishes all her books months before her deadlines, which is why she keeps getting bumped up in schedules and her editor trusts her to deliver. Total pro. Me? Not so much.

Now... I'm not a big fan of oh-woe-is-me blog posts. Nor do I believe in whining in public, but I still feel like whining tonight. I think I'm just burned out. I hope that's all it is. I've got 3 shoppable, totally publishable (if I do say so myself) projects completed right now. And I'm about 90% sure at least 2 of the 3 will go out on submission after the summer publishing slowdown... But right now I'm feeling like if one of these 3 doesn't hit it, that's it for me. I'm done.

Now, I'm sure I'll take that back at some point. I hope so. (No, I don't... I hope one of them will sell so I won't be in a position to have to take it back...)

Have you ever lost your spark? What did you do to reignite it?


Joanne Levy said...

Maureen - I can empathize. I get this feeling ("this is it, and if not, no more") after I finish each book. I have a bunch of books I also think are publishable and of course, as you know, it hasn't happened for me yet either. What do I do? I get another idea and move on to the next book. It's not even necessarily a conscious thing - just what I do.

Have some wine/chocolate/fried foods and know you're not alone.


Maureen McGowan said...

Thanks, Joanne.

I actually feel better today than I did last night. I think it's the "I just sent a book off blues".

Kimber Chin said...

Oh, dang, there must be something in the air.

Last summer, I tried something different. I tried to wing my way through writing a book. The result was less than stellar. My pre-editor told me in no uncertain words that it sucked. Big time. (That's what I pay her for).

I thought I could fix it. I re-read it last night. You know what? It sucks. Big time. It would take me longer to fix it than it would to write a complete new book. And if I fixed it, the best that could happen is it would be okay. Not great. Okay. Okay is not okay with me.

So last summer's writing? And I only write during the summer so that is really last YEAR's writing? Garbage.

Hard to take.

That said, finishing off this summer's novel and I LOVE it. I love the characters. I love the plot. It is worthy (but still very niche - my target readership of one).

Molly O'Keefe said...

I think this spark question is the difference between sell and no sell. Everyone loses the spark and it's how you recapture it that turns things around. That's my pollyanna answer - today, my real answer is -- this business wants to kill us. It wants to grind us to dust and destroy us. If it's not editors looking for something "more" or "different" with no explanation as to what - it's editors who want more of exactly what you just wrote, or editors who love you and want you producing manuscripts at a literally break your neck speed. And then it's trying to figure out the market and what's next, or writing what you love and trying to figure out how to make that marketable.

I want Margaret Moore's answer - Margaret? Where are you? We need your wisdom right now! You've worked this grind, two books a year for years -- what's the key to spark retainage?

Sinead M said...

What's wierd about the no-spark thing is, try and stop.
Seriously, I know we all have fantasies about coming home from work(Ok, not Maureen, on this one) and watching all the TV we want, or napping ourselves during nap time, or better still, reading more books, but I always think that if I did stop, I'd hate not writing..

Not to say, there are some days, that aren't stupidly tough.

Speaking of Polyana, apparently I'll be filling that role today...

We all lose the spark directly after finishing a book, until the next amazing idea hits..

You need some DWT..

Maureen McGowan said...

I think (hope) you're right Sinead. I was trying to watch SYTYCD tonight. My fav reality TV show... and I keep picking up my laptop and futzing with the story for the next book. I guess I will at least plot out the next one in this series with fingers crossed...

Amy Ruttan said...

Yeah I lost my spark a couple of months back. Couldn't sell anything, got bites from agents for this historical, but then they didn't want the historical.


I'm still trying to relight it.

I guess being forced out of my day job really lit my switch.

Shaking the fist in the sky screaming *I'll show 'em all*

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