When I began writing "the book" several years ago, I didn't see quite past the end of that first work. After all, I'd never finished a book before. I wasn't even sure if it could be done. But about halfway through, after I realized that I really liked writing, that the end was in sight, and that, given great leeway by my family I might actually like to make a go of the writing thing, I began amassing book ideas. After all, agent blogs touted the idea that agents like to see that you already have something else in the works. I guess they like a regular paycheck too.
I began to write ideas down everytime I thought of something that might make a good story and stuff them a little blue index card filing box (enough adjectives for you? I could add that it was faded blue...). I think some of them are intriguing ideas. Some would be amazing if I could figure out how to flesh them out. Some are already dated. And some of them are plain trash. But there they are, all ready for their time in the sun.
January I wrapped up the rewrites, sent my plea out into the world, and marked February 1st as the day to start researching my next attempt. Did I go to the box full of ideas? No. I had this great idea that grew out of a game my kids made up. I watched them and thought, that would make a great series of books for kids! As a bonus, it would be shorter, less intense, and much lighter fare than my last writing. Fun, in short.
And it has been. Fun, I mean. I get to read lots of kids' books, and books about pirates, and eavesdrop on kids conversations, and uncover a whole different world of agents who deal primarily with middle grade and YA books. Different is always fun.
Except when it isn't. Fun, I mean. Because, as it turns out, I'm a bit lost on this project. I'm full up on enthusiasm. I've got my kids and husband throwing ideas out at every turn. I have piles of books with great information. But I can't write. While it seems like it would make a great story, when I sit down to outline it, it's all foggy. I can write the words, start the story, but where it's going is beyond me. And though I think it should be fun, though I want it to be fun, it just isn't.
Of course, I can't let it go. I am obsessive that way. I've gotta finish what I start. But in the meantime, another book has taken hold of me. When I am driving, shopping, watching TV, pretending to have conversations, this book is writing itself in my head. It is adult. It is content heavy. It is going to hit close to home. But it wants to be written.
I don't think I can write both at the same time. Time constraints, for one. But also, they are very different books, and I kind of live in the world of my writing, and to have a leg in both of those worlds wouldn't leave me with a leg in my real life. So which do I abandon? Do I force the one I've started, or leave it by the wayside to pursue something which will no doubt take longer to write and a little piece of my soul?
I wish I had the answer. I'm a bit afraid if I say I'm going to finish the first of the series, my deeper, more important story will somehow fade and be gone when I come back for it.
And to think, neither of these is in my little, faded, blue, index card filing box. Obviously those ideas aren't going to see the light of day anytime soon. Except when I open the lid every day to stuff a few more in.
Did I mention I'm obsessive?
And as a complete aside:
Some interesting stats:
My completed novel, according to MS Word, has a reading level of 5.8. (I think I know why but I won't comment on that now.)
My newly started upper middle grade has a reading level of 10.7.