There was this period of time after I graduated college in May of 2008 until the winter of 2011 where I kept telling myself, and a very small amount of others, that I was writing a book.
It wasn't true.
Sure, I had words written, and I had an idea on where the plot was going to go, but I wasn't actually writing anything. The words I had written were just sitting in the hard drive of my laptop, and the ideas I had for where the story was going to go were just floating around my head. One day I'd write 200 words, and then three months later write another 150. Going at that rate the book never would have gotten finished, and it would have been impossible to edit because nothing would have made sense.
I finally woke up one day in late 2011, admitted I was lying to myself about what was going on, and really started to work. Even then, writing was slow and sporadic, and often times not great. But it was still progress. A year later, in the winter of 2012, I buckled down again and re-focused on writing The Mother Who Loved Halloween. I even created a spreadsheet where I would log how many words I wrote each day as a reminder of my progress. By the summer of 2013, a first draft was complete, and in April of 2014, the book was available for purchase.
Since The Mother Who Loved Halloween came out nearly everyone has asked me if I am working on another book. I've generally answered this question by saying I have several other book ideas, that I have one that has more work done on it than others (about 10,000 words written), and that is the one I am working on making the next novel. This statement is generally true. I do have several other book ideas. I do have one that has about 10,000 words written (9,773 as I look at it right now, or 37 double-spaced Microsoft Word pages for those who are curious what 9,773 words means), but since April not much "work" has gone into this new novel. The absolute truth is that other than one day this summer where my thoughts and emotions were thrown into a blender, and something positive needed to come out of it, and I flushed out 300 or so words, everything else written for this novel took place while The Mother Who Loved Halloween was being edited. The editing process was a lot of work, and I had been on such a push of churning the story out that I really missed writing something new. Hence, the beginning of this next book.
2014 brought a lot of unforeseen work for The Mother Who Loved Halloween, a lot of personal and emotional strife, re-connecting and deepening relationships with friends and family, and a completely different trajectory from what I had envisioned for it when it began. It was a great example of one having their own set of plans, and those plans basically being set on fire by the grander forces of the universe. For me, one of the things that was part of the kindling was this next book.
So now, as 2015 begins, I have made the decision to make a committed return to writing. Today marked my first day writing new fiction since June 20, 2014. I'm memorializing it on my blog because maybe some will find it interesting, but really more for me. I'm a realist. I see the numbers. Not a whole lot of people visit my website yet. It's not Google. I am surely the individual looking at my site the most. So what better way to continue to motivate myself than by placing this kind of post on my site?
I'm not positive this 9,773-word story will become my actual next novel. It's still in its infancy, which is why I'm not sharing any details right now - everything is subject to change. But I hope it will be next in line, and I'm going to work to see that it happens.