Collected Wisps of Thought

{October 29, 2006}   New Novel

I realized today that I am simultaneously working on a middle grade novel, a YA novel, two picture books, a short story for an anthology, and a non-fiction project. This seems like a lot, so I thought it over and did what any author would do under the circumstances… started a brand new novel.

Yes, that’s correct. (Make that TWO middle grade novels.)

At first glance this seems insane. In fact, on second glance it also seems insane, but on third glance… Now that’s where the wisdom becomes apparent.

The truth is, there are times when practicality must go flying out the window. Being a writer is often about the fine art of juggling what’s smart and saavy business-wise with the creative muse. When business wins out, the work is dry and tiresome but the bills get paid and the work gets done on schedule. When the muse wins out, discipline takes a back seat which can mean that nothing gets finished or polished, so the work (though inspired) remains sloppy.

I have always been one of those people who errs on the side of getting things done on time, following the rules, worrying that I won’t be prepared to delve into a fresh round of editing if my head and heart have already moved on to the next project, but I know enough to shanghai a great character when one pops into my brain, and when the passion builds for an idea whose time has come, I won’t let anything stand in my way.

Thus the new novel.

Each and every project will get its due in the end, but today is not about being practical. Today, the pendulum swings in favor of the muse.

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