It’s week whatever check-in for the YAB Spring Writing Bootcamp…and I can’t say I’ve been doing much writing at all. Here we are, almost finished this amazing three-month program, and I thought maybe I’d be closing with a half-written book. Okay, who am I fooling…I thought I’d be closing with a book I’ve actually started.
But I’ve come to realize in these past couple of weeks, that I’m in a state of flux. I’ve plotted, revised, worked on new ideas, researched old ideas, started reading again, and made time to write…all of the things I should be doing. And yet, nothing has solidified for me on the page.
Then I realized, each book I write is about me learning something. I need a challenge each time.
Book 1: The entire challenge here was to actually write a book from start to finish.
Book 2: I decided to try my hand at multiple POVs. Wasn’t completely successful, but…
Book 3: Voice, voice and more voice! (I found it!)
Book 4: Humour. Life isn’t all dark and messy, right?
Book 5: ????????
My husband has been feeding me all sorts of really challenging scenarios, something to ramp up my writing (sports, cars, scientific sciency things…and, did I mention, sports?). And while I haven’t written any of the ideas off just yet, nothing is clicking.
The thing I’m most aware of at this stage in my writing is that whatever I do, whatever I’m lucky enough to publish first, will set up a following and a style readers will probably expect to see in a follow up (assuming I’m lucky enough to get a follow up to my imaginary first up). It’s all about branding, about making my mark in a recognizable way, and continuing on like I’m not just throwing a whole bunch of ideas up in the air and hoping something works.
Of course, I know I’m free to experiment, to write outside my genre (and the box) if the mood so takes me. But I’m more aware of branding now than ever. Whatever I want my writing career to look like is entirely up to me, and so I must focus.
I know deep in my soul I can’t write sports books all my life (dear God, don’t make me even think about it), and that quirky YA western I was contemplating, well…probably not. So my goals for the end of May are these:
- Figure out my branding.
- Move on in that direction.
I can do it. I can do it. I can do it.
In other news, Team Denali has rallied. We’ve got people writing, we’ve got people finishing up projects, and we’ve got people making serious headway! I’m so proud of everyone on my team and all they’ve done in these 2+ months. How lucky was I to get matched up with these people??? I only hope we can stay in touch after the Bootcamp is over.
Good luck this week with all of your projects, my wonderful, lovely, writerly friends. Take care of the words, for they are yours to set free.