There’s a mountain looming just up ahead. I can see it in my mind, feel the shadow of it pressing on my chest, making it a little difficult to breath.
It’s my next book.
I know, I know, it should be a joyous event to start a new book. But I’ve done this enough times now that I know what’s coming. I know the excitement of meeting a new character–only to discover they’re not who I thought. The thrill when I spend days writing feverishly, the words flowing perfectly–only to discover a week later that it’s all crap and needs to be deleted. I know what it’s like to start on a high and then hit the murky middle. To be determined to swim through quickly but end up bogged down just like the time before, flailing in the sludge and lying awake nights wondering if I’ll ever find a way out. I’ve put books aside after 40,000 words and cried. And I’ve experienced the high of recognizing an end in sight only to start back at the beginning for draft #2.
It’s a mountain of work. Of belief and persistence and distraction and sleeplessness. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done and every time I start a new book it’s just as hard as the time before.
And it’s looming. I finished my latest book, revised it, cleaned it up, sent it off. It’s out there in the world and the only way to survive the waiting is to start something new.
What will it be? Right now, I have no idea. (Literally.) It’ll start coming to me though, and then the excitement will come, too. Because bringing an idea to life and creating a book is absolutely a joy in many ways. It’s what I love and why I keep doing this.
But first I’ve got to take a deep breath, face the mountain, and will myself to begin the climb.