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Archive for December, 2012

For those of you who have real lives and don’t stalk Twitter all day, you might not know that I’m participating in a brand new writing challenge. It’s called Write a Novel with Cupid (#WanWc on Twitter), and it takes place over the next few months. More details can be found on Cupid’s blog here, along with links to the rest of Cupid’s Quiver. Basically, we’ll be writing a new manuscript, starting at 0 words and ending at 50k (or more), by the end of January. Then we’ll spend some time editing/revising those manuscripts.

I’m so excited for this new manuscript. It was supposed to be my NaNo novel. I had the idea during a long drive and I was so excited to start it, but I was in the middle of writing The Hit List. I put it on hold and patiently waited for November, knowing I’d be able to write it then.

But when November came, it was like all that motivation left. It probably didn’t help that I moved three hours away to a new apartment. Moving is the devil and should be avoided, if possible. I tried writing, but everything I wrote sucked and I deleted it.

Then I realized WHY everything sucked.

I work a very stressful job with a high incidence of burnout. And the month before NaNo had been especially trying. I was exhausted all the time, I didn’t want to do anything when I had free time, I didn’t want to write and when I forced myself to, the words were awful. It didn’t help that I was trying to write a dark manuscript for NaNo and that I’m querying a dark manuscript. Even with all that and knowing that I was overly stressed, it took me over a month to realize I was burnt out.

I took five days off work and I took a two week hiatus from writing. Instead, I did some critiquing for a CP and I played around with a plot for a completely different manuscript, a happier manuscript. And I started to decompress. Things calmed down at work and I wanted to write again.

And then Pitch Wars and WanWc started. This is the first time The Hit List has been in a contest and I’m full of all the crazy nerves and doubts I had when I first started to submit Broken. And with the help of Cupid’s WanWc, I’m so excited for this manuscript again. I have so many ideas for it and I cranked out the first 2k words in one sitting. I’m so happy to be writing dark stuff again because I love it. But really, I’m just grateful to be writing again period.

What did I learn from all this? I need to start listening to myself more. I need to take breaks. I need to identify when I’m reaching burn out before it happens. And I need to come up for air between the darkness.

With that, I leave you with a little blurb about my new manuscript and the opening lines so far. Good luck to the rest of Cupid’s Quiver and to everyone else forming their own groups for #WanWc!

Pitch:

After years of being bullied, seventeen year old Sydney makes a suicide pact with her best friend and takes a handful of pills. Three days later, she wakes up on the Fourth Floor, the highest intensity mental health floor at North Memorial Hospital. When the lines of her reality blur and she struggles to maintain a grip on her sanity, only another patient can ground her. But he has a secret of his own, a secret that could send her into the deepest corner of her mind, far out of touch with reality. Permanently.

Excerpt:

Today is November sixteenth, the most important day of my life. It’s been circled on my calendar for weeks because I was worried I would forget. But really, how can you forget the day you plan to kill yourself?

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