Friday, October 14, 2011

When Writing Takes SERIOUS Time

I can't believe it's been a week since I last posted. Well, the good news is that I have been writing. And outlining.

Since outlining is such mind-numbing work at times, I decided to let myself write 8-10 pages of any Shiny New Idea that comes my way. This might waste a couple hours a week, but it keeps my writing muscles primed without being a complete distraction from the real work of re-outlining a failed project. It's a project I'm just unwilling to let go.

I was encouraged by the dedication in the front of The Maze Runner, which is by anyone standards an amazing book.
For Lynette. This book was a three-year journey, and you never doubted.
 Wow. I get so caught up at times in the stories of fast writers making it big in record time, that I forget how many incredible works took years to create. It doesn't make me think less of James Dashner to know The Maze Runner was a three-year journey for him. It makes complete sense, given the complexity and consistent mystery through to the very end.

I realized after reading that dedication that my book idea is no less complex. It's a whole other world I'm meshing with our world, and I need to give myself time to flesh that all out, to explore every bit of it, and to craft an introduction that is both compelling and mysterious.

That's a tall order for six months, or even the 10 months I spent writing the first draft. It's been sitting long enough now, so I really feel it's time for a new look at it.

I've got other projects almost done and some just beginning, but I keep coming back to this one. Like I said, I'm not ready to let it go. Maybe someday there'll be a good reason for that. For now, I'll just keep working and hope for the best.

What's keeping you busy these days? Have you ever spent more than a year on one writing project?

p.s. I'm at Operation Awesome today talking about trends and the universal psyche we can't escape.


  1. Writing does take a lot of time, and how wonderful that you aren't in a rush. Lately I've been procrastinating. Too bad I can't get paid for that, otherwise I'd be rich.

  2. I've come to the realization that each work-in-progess has its own time schedule. I'm not in total control of where the story goes or how long it takes to get there. It took a while, but I'm okay with this aspect of the journey now:)

  3. It took me four years to get my MS how I wanted it.

  4. My MS just officially celebrated it's 5th birthday. It started as a short story before it graduated to a novel, but the original story was written five years ago. Hopefully it won't take five years to write the next one. :)

  5. This is something that I always wonder about, too! My projects always vary, but I started HUNGRY GROUND in April 2010. I am trying not to rush the edits, so we'll see how long they take...

    (Also, unrelated, but I linked your blog on the Pay it Forward Blogfest today! Though hopefully all those people were following you already. :D)


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