I do love Chuck Wendig’s insights. When I stumbled across on this (semi) recent post, it rang completely true with me. For example, I currently have two novels which are ‘cooking’ — one, The Queen of England: Ascension (still not sure about this title, but I’m getting there) and two, A.U., an unwritten adult contemporary novel I would publish as Ann Benjamin. These two projects are in very different stages of the writing process. Book 3 of my trilogy is a finished rough draft (completed in May 2017). I haven’t thought that much about it since the end of May. I don’t plan on thinking about it again until maybe August, or even later. I could look at it now, but I would rather push forward for the second draft of Book 2 (it just makes sense to go chronologically). Does it mean I love Book 3 any less? It does not. Am I procrastinating a bit? Sure, but I’ve got plenty on my plate at the moment and am happy to let the book more or less exist in my outer consciousness for awhile.
A.U. (working title) is an idea I came up with last year. Like two other books, it’s really just floating around in my head. I’ve verbalized the plot to a few people (who showed interest), but that’s as far as the process has moved. I’ve managed to start pulling a few titles I need to read as research, and have thought of what the first chapter might sound like, but not too much more. Although, funnily enough, I can already picture exactly what the cover of the book is going to be. When will I start this one? I do think I’ll get going at some point in 2017. Perhaps, even, my first attempt at NaNoWriMo.
Mr. Wendig reveals that he’s had a project simmering for 3 years, which seems entirely fair. Sometimes life gets in the way. Sometimes characters get in the way. Or, as Elizabeth Gilbert explained once, sometimes ideas/creative energy are meant for other authors. As entertained/successful as I want to keep my muse, I have to respect that ideas I have and have done nothing with might go back into the ether (including, but certainly not limited to the Count of Monte Cristo project, an adaptation I’ve had since roughly 2002).
Stephen King, in ‘On Writing’ uses the ‘put it in a drawer’ analogy for this theory. Although I see other authors pushing out books with frightening speed, for me, I need books to go in the imaginary drawer (be it Google Drives or somewhere in my brain) for a certain amount of time. I usually know when it’s time to come out.
How long do you ‘cook’ creative projects for? Do have one longer than 15 years?
Please make me feel better.