I have started working on An Unlikely Place for Love. This is a 113,800 word book (close to 400 pages), so it’s going to take me a while. I had a lot of energy for An Inconvenient Marriage, so that one went fast. The Cold Wife wasn’t so bad, energy-wise, and Romancing Adrienne was short at 156 pages. But I’m dragging my feet on An Unlikely Place for Love.
It probably doesn’t seem like this stuff is exhausting, but it is. It’s harder to go back and work on a book that has already been published than one that hasn’t been, and all of my creative ability has deflated. In the process of revising, proofreading, and editing, the creative part of the brain shuts down. This is why I rarely do more than the initial read through on my books anymore. I now write the first draft, read through it once to polish it up, and then send it out to about three people to proof over for me. Kate Page’s work is a little different in the setup. But for Ruth’s work, that is what I now do. The more proofreaders I have, the less work I have to do in the end.
So anyway, June is quickly approaching, and the plan has been to return to the first draft blog to finish up Bride of Second Chances. I don’t know if I can do it. I can’t force myself to write when the creativity isn’t there. I feel like I’m running on fumes. I had to put a hold on my newsletter, which takes a few hours to write up and publish on the web. I have handed all emails from people I don’t communicate with on a friendly basis to the person who filters my emails in order to prevent any more barriers to being able to write. Even if people don’t want to believe it, rude emails do hinder creativity. I am not giving Brave Beginnings another read through. I’ve done it once, and I tried to go back, got about 1/3 of the way through and am just not into it. To quote Megamind’s Metro Man, “My head just isn’t into the game.” Now before you cry foul and say I’m not doing all I can ensure a professional product, the book is now with the third proofreader. So I’m waiting for her to get back to me. After she does, I’m publishing it.
Life Mate is, thankfully, with a proofreader so the pressure is off on that book. That is the last book I have scheduled for publication before July 1 when my husband comes home. A lot of people have said they don’t believe I can go through a month without writing, and under ordinary circumstances, they’d be right, but given how exhausted I am, this break couldn’t come at a better time. I don’t plan to give up writing, but I will be taking a break. I don’t know how long of a break I need.
One thing I don’t want to do is rush through Bride of Second Chances or force it when it’s not coming to me. Currently, my mind is a blank on that story. I don’t know where to go from the point I left it at. I mean, technically I know, but I’m not connected to the characters at all so I can’t feel what they want me to do. Books I force tend to end up needing rewriting, and I hate rewriting so it’s easier to put a book on hold than to try to force it. Writing is a lot more than putting words to paper. The author has to be able to step into the character’s shoes and get fully involved in the story. When the characters laugh, I laugh. When the character cry, I cry. That’s how I know I’m writing the book as it’s meant to be. And right now, I’m not able to do that.
I’m not looking for sympathy as I write this. What I’m looking for is understanding so if I make a post next week or around June 1 saying I can’t write Bride of Second Chances, everyone will understand and let me take as long as I need to before I get back to it. I might have to start doing something where I write the first draft offline first before I post it. As weird as it sounds, knowing so many people are reading what I write that very day is starting to give me writer’s fright (a variation of stage fright) that also hinders my ability to be as creative as I need to be in order to make the story work as it’s meant to work. Why? Because I start second guessing everything I’m doing.
And now I’m off to continue on with An Unlikely Place for Love. After this book, I will never go back to another published book to work on it. I’ve learned my lesson this month.