So, I wrote a book. And I want to write another one.
This is a problem.
To be technical, I’ve written a draft of a book. It has some issues. I can look at it critically and I know that there are some plot wrinkles to tug straight (I don’t iron), and some stylistic inconsistencies to figure out (I suspect that my voice isn’t supposed to have multiple personalities). I’ve even done a pretty brutal edit of the first ten chapters.
But I don’t want to finish.
I have a new story in my head – one that’s infiltrating my thoughts at inopportune times, distracting me from work, asking me to forget myself and go live in its world. It’s a high-concept tale. It’s a little bit saucy. It’s both goofy and (hopefully) gut-twistingly despondent. It has a voice that I can already hear echoing off each key as I type this post.
In short, it’s the complete opposite of my current draft. And I want to write it.
I’m stuck, though. I’ve been known to be an advocate of productive procrastination – working on something else until you finally get around to the task you’ve been avoiding – but this feels different. Maybe it’s because the new concept has more mass appeal (while the draft is so Canadian that it would probably taste like poutine doused in maple syrup), but I wonder if I’d ever go back to my first story.
Yet, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to stop myself from moving on. And I’m not sure that I should even try to put it off. Maybe my first novel was like a training bra for my words, trying to act as a support for something that isn’t actually there. Or maybe my ability to be critical of my own work means that I’m being overly critical, that I’m just not satisfied with what I have, that I know I can do better.
I’m not sure. But I am sure that I’m going to write. It’s the one thing that I know for certain.