I just finished writing a book about abuse. The entire story was emotionally charged, with parts about girls being raped by their father, someone cutting their arms to deal with the pain of abuse, and a girl who won’t talk because of what she’s been through. I loved every minute of writing this book because, even though it was painful and I found myself crying at my keyboard on several occasions, I knew I had something very important to say and that I needed to say it. This book had to be written, no matter how much pain is contained in its pages.
But then it was over. I dried my tears, and I turned to a story I had left on the back burner while I wrote the first novel. This new book was to be a collection of related short stories all set in the same town over the course of one summer. And it just felt… bland. No matter what things I thought of to add to the story, it just didn’t seem as good as the novel about abuse. I wasn’t sure what was wrong at first, because I had been so excited about this new idea when I first thought of it. But I think I finally realized what the problem is—it lacks passion.
What I loved about writing the first novel was that it dripped with my passion. I took so many classes on violence against women and did so much research on the topic in college that I ended up with a minor in women’s studies. I have so much to say about this topic that the book ended up being so easy to write.
I like my new idea, I really do. It’s supposed to be about youth and the joy of summer. And doing it in short stories is supposed to be a challenge to myself as I struggle with that format. But I am having so much trouble actually getting started. When I’ve worked on longer projects, I usually only need that kick start in the beginning and then I don’t have any trouble keeping going and finishing what I’ve started. And since I don’t feel that push right now, I’m trying something different.
I’m just going to write. A little bit, every day. Because slow and steady will win the race eventually. And I might find the passion in this project that I’m looking for along the way. Plus, that way I’m still working and producing something while waiting for my next great idea to hit.
I’m not sure if this book about summer will be the next one I try to publish. But the point of being a writer is to sit down and write. And I need to give this story a chance.
Being between books has always been a big struggle for me because I feel lost without the characters I’ve just spent every day of the last few months to year with. They were by my side every day, and now they’re in the hands of my publisher. What I need to do is find something else to work on and be passionate about. But I just need to keep writing along the way.