Just went through a Hard Reset. Like when a computer starts acting wonky–you unplug it, stick it in a corner, maybe kick it a few times before plugging restarting it.
I enjoyed Thanksgiving with my wife. Put all (and I mean *all*) personal projects on hold. Slept in during the long weekend. Watched wayyyyy too much of “The Sopranos.” Even played some video games–a hobby I rarely allow myself to enjoy, it’d been about four years since I last played a game.
A bit of context… I have a small business idea I’ve been working on. It’s stable. It’s smart. Potentially financially wise. I’d probably enjoy doing it to boot. Been working on it for some time now.
But this “hard reset” gave me an opportunity to step back from everything, relax, allow the creative juices to start flowing again. And then I got hit by a massive wave of inspiration–I now know what I want my next novel project will be.
It’s a tough call. Should I get carried away by this creative rip-current? I know where it takes me… manic highs, depressive lows, tied to months of a joyful and maddening cycle of output.
I’ve barely made a dime writing to date. Publishing is a brutal industry. Whenever I’ve put my work out, I can’t help but feel that the response is lukewarm at best–I always seem to see more potential than anybody else. For me it’s my heart on a platter, for the industry it’s sausage for the grinder. Melodramatic, I know… but try having a project that you’ve been working on for months or years rejected in a few dismissive words, and then repeat the process over and over again. (Don’t worry, I secretly love the difficulty.)
And yet I feel as though every fiber of my being demands I write. Even the rejections feel like progress, like I’m where I’m supposed to be. Publishing institutions that have released some of my favorite work are calling my novel “smoothly written, solidly paced, very polished” (though ultimately not for them.) I can’t help but feel that what I want is right around the corner.
Decisions, decisions. But I think I’m going to have to go with my heart and keep writing.