It’s not exactly writer’s block that has me stymied. More like a traffic jam, and it’s a devil to untangle.
Since The Body Next Door debuted last November, I’ve been overwhelmed by the positive response. Authors dream of hearing praise for their work and seeing the sales numbers rise, so believe me, I’m not complaining.
And while I’m on the subject, heartfelt thanks to you, readers. It is impossible to quantify how much I appreciate you. Please continue your honest feedback—writers need it.
But I digress. Which is my problem lately: digressing. I leap from project to project, then snap off and bounce to yet another one without making much progress on anything. Weeks tick past at double-time. Now March is looming and Chapter 1 of Book 3 in The Samantha Newman Series is still not locked down. Why? Well. . .
There’s the historical novel I’ve been itching to write since way before The Body Business (Book 1 of the Series) debuted in 2014. Nowadays, if I encounter an item even remotely related to the time period, I’m like a dog on a squirrel, and my attention shifts to people and events far back in history.
Remember me? Samantha Newman shouts from somewhere inside my head. I’m stuck in Chapter 1, Book 3, staring down the barrel of a gun, while you dilly dally in the past! Finish the durn chapter, please. I need to know if I live or die!
A fair request, so I tear myself out of the 16th Century and leap into the present, struggling to readjust my mind’s eye under the harsh light of the here and now. I pick up Samantha’s predicament with good intentions, but then there’s . . .
I’ve promised people audio versions of Books 1 & 2. I own the audio rights to both books, so it’s all on me. I’ve never produced an audio book before. I know there are services that can do the heavy lifting, but as a first-timer, I’m pretty sure it will take concentration on my part to get comfortable with the process. Yet, just when I think I’m ready to climb that learning curve . . .
Carter Chapman grumbles from somewhere deep in Book 3 limbo. Remember me? I know I promised to stick around . . . Did I?
As if I could forget that hunky nerd of a mystery man with a shady past and eyelashes to die for. So, I repurpose my thoughts and work to solve Samantha’s plight and ascertain Carter’s whereabouts, until . . .
Consider the Children
Squirrel!!! That little children’s book I wrote for a friend’s birthday years ago, the one she’s shared with other friends who ask, “When will it be published?” A perky little plastic snail beside my keyboard catches my eye and sends me into Seuss-like rhyming mode. Suddenly there are four kiddie books begging to be set free.
What’s an author with a limited attention span to do? Short of panhandling for a Ritalin prescription, the solution’s probably not in a magic pill. I think I just need a good pep talk.
You can do it, I tell myself. You can do them all. Just begin. But still, the question is: which one first?