I took an entire day off from novel writing for the first time in a while. I turned in my editorial revisions to The Contagious Colors of Mumpley Middle School (Simon and Schuster, Fall 2013), and a draft of my “Book that I’m not allowed to announce yet but will also be coming out in Fall, 2013” which I will forever refer to as “NATAB” (Not Allowed to Announce Book) until I’m allowed to announce it. I haven’t taken a day off – not a weekend, not a weekday – since February.
You might think it was a joyous, relaxing day. Oh, you would be wrong. I’m miserable when I’m not working on a book. Life doesn’t feel right. It feels empty. Why am I wasting time when I should be working on my next book? What if I never write another book again? But it wasn’t a total waste. I spent time looking at old ideas to see what seemed inspiring.
(I actually have a bunch of books in semi-finished states that need my attention, but I really want to start something new)
But, luckily, I have a lot of pretty good ideas, actually. And I found a silly short story I wrote maybe two years ago (I keep everything I write) and I thought maybe if I fixed it up it could be a picture book. But then I thought no, it would be a horrible picture book and I’m horrible at writing them. So then I thought … could this be part of a bigger story? And could that bigger story be one of a lot of bigger stories? And the answer is yes to all of that. So this morning I started working on an outline for it, and it would likely be a series, well, it would have to be a series, but it’s way too early to say it will be anything. My ideas always seem pretty good until I start writing them and then most are revealed to be horrible. So, we’ll see. But it feels good, right now at least, to be playing with it.