Thursday, February 25, 2010

Work in Progress... Thursday?

I know, I know, I said I was going to spend February reading.

I did read Hush, Hush, and Evermore (and the Hunger Games and half of Catching Fire again), and I started a number of other books. I just haven't finished them yet. I even read a good chunk of Percy Jackson 4 yesterday on the streetcar. It's pretty good, just like the others, and the stakes are higher this time around.

The thing is, I just haven't been compelled to devour a book in a while. (Apparently, Suzanne Collins has ruined me for all other books. ;D )

Not to mention that I keep having these ideas, hearing these voices, thinking of plot revisions. First it was for my urban fantasy, which I just finished a third draft of.

Now it's EVANGELINE. Based on some recent feedback I was mulling over, last night I finally came up with a way to bring some of the elements into play earlier. It's going to be LEGEND... wait for it... DARY! LOL.

Most importantly, my passion for a story I was about to give up on has been rekindled. Which is a good thing, right? Eh, I don't really know anymore!

After I finished grad school, during which period I barely read for pleasure at all unless a new Harry Potter just came out, I promised myself all I'd do was read books. I went through a period where I rabidly caught up with series I loved or books I'd heard great things about. Then one day I had an idea. And I started writing. That idea didn't wind up going anywhere--not yet, anyway--but it got me back on the path. That's how I know I'm a writer. Though books were my first love, writing is my true love.

Sure, keeping yourself well-read is important, but if the muse strikes, is it more important to listen to her? I mean, this is why I started writing in the first place--yeah, I've read good books, but I've also read a lot that frustrated me or let me down in the end. I want my books to be someone's favorites someday. The kind of books that inspired others to become writers. Not that I want a fandom, or anything (although reading fan-fic would be kind of awesome). I just want to bring great stories to life and have others enjoy them. So I'm juggling three works in progress right now, hoping that one of them will be the first I share with the world.

Which is why my tbr pile comprises an entire shelf in a huge bookcase. Those stories aren't my "babies". I'll neglect them as long as I need to in order to care for my own. And when my babies start giving me headaches again, or I'm at a point where I can't work on any of them yet, my tbr pile won't have gone anywhere.

I made a promise to myself to read more books this year, but getting my novels ready to query has always been my first priority. And frankly, I find working on three works in progress to be less draining than investing hours in a book I wind up wanting to throw across the room.

What say you, world?


Elana Johnson said...

I say do whatever your muse dictates. I went on a reading binge at the beginning of the year, and have since stopped. Haven't read anything for a while. I'm not working on my writing either, I'm just taking a break.

Abby Annis said...

I can't believe you're working on three stories at once. You're awesome! Don't worry, my friend. Your babies will be out there for the world to enjoy before you know it. :)

Roni @ FictionGroupie said...

I go back and forth. I find if I'm not reading, my muse gets fussy. Reading stimulates that creative part of my brain. So I try to balance my reading and writing. But if you have a hot idea to chase, then by all means go after it!

roxy said...

Girl, you are a reader! Way to go with all those books. I'm so OCD, I make myself finish one before I start on another. Even if I'm not enjoying myself. There's definitely something wrong with that. I think listening to the muse is important. If we don't listen, she doesn't come by so often. Sometimes, when I'm really inspired, there's no other book in the world for me but my own.

Krispy said...

Go you! Definitely go with the muse. TBR books will always be there, when your muse feels like being uncooperative. Grab the cooperation while you can!

Tere Kirkland said...

Oh, man, I've been correcting typos in this post all day, lol! Must be NyQuil withdrawal making me shaky. ;)

Thanks, y'all! I'm going to let the muse drag me along for now. And when she starts to clam up, I'll have plenty of books to distract me. ;)

I think this revision might be "the one" for Evangeline! Fingers crossed!

Shannon O'Donnell said...

I agree with Elana. If your heart wants to write right now, then write. When you feel the call to read, then that's when you read. Follow the muse! :-)

Voidwalker said...

Methinks reading and writing can often be counter-productive, but they both have their place. Reading can help inspire and may be needed at times. "everything in moderation" as they say.

L.T. Elliot said...

I'm glad your passion is all rekindled! There's nothing better than falling back in love with your story.

Jade said...

I'm reading a really good book at the moment (EYES LIKE STARS) but it's taking me a while to get through it because I've been writing so much.

Writing comes first. Reading is good when you need a break from reality!

Christine Danek said...

For me-- writing first. I love it and can't stop to think about anything else. When I need a break reading comes into play. Good for you juggling three projects--You go!

Lisa and Laura said...

I do think that writing can make reading difficult. For one thing I've gotten so much more critical now that I write! But I learn so much from reading a good book. Sometimes it's nice to take a break from YA and read some adult stuff. I think I was on YA overload for a while there!