Hello! I’ve meant to sit down and type up an update (as well as other blog posts) for quite a while now. I had initially planned to do several posts about my experience in independently publishing my first novel, but time just seems to get away from me.
While I was editing Colder Weather, I started looking forward to what my next book would be and had two choices. Story 1 was a little harder to figure out all the logistics, and then Story 2 popped up. In theory, this was going to be the easier of the two, so I decided to shelf Story 1 and work on Story 2.
Both Story 1 and Story 2 are going to take place in summery, island type settings, so when we decided to spend a few days in Sanibel, I knew that it would be the perfect place to gather some details for either one. By the time we were heading home, Story 2 was really starting to build in my brain.
There usually are two types of writers in the world. Planners and Pansters. I’m a Panster. I write everything without knowing what’s going to happen next or only having a vague idea of how it will end. It’s always worked for me, but I really wanted to try being a Planner. Or at least a Planster (half planner/half panster) if I could. I wanted to build the world my characters would live in, create character analyses, know where the story was going and how it was going to end. While this was all good in theory, I found myself struggling with getting it done. I signed up for some free resources on Well-Storied and for the first few days, wrote what I could, and found life getting in the way of my planning.
I’d over-extended myself. I was asked to review a short book. To write an article for an online magazine. (And I’ve loved every minute of being able to step outside of my comfort zone and try these things.) I volunteered to beta read a novel for someone I don’t know, while also beta reading for two of my dear friends. Sometimes I would get on the laptop, do the things I needed to do for others, then just stare at my own stuff, wondering why I wasn’t writing. As I finished the things above, I went back to world building and fleshed out something rather spectacular (hopefully) for Story 2, but I couldn’t sit and work on my character analysis like I wanted. It was frustrating.
But then Story 1 poked its head out of the sand and gave me some significant information. I filed them away in my brain, intent on working on Story 2, but Story 1 wasn’t having it. More details came in, got filed, and still no writing was accomplished. Finally, I decided I would just write the little fluff piece of backstory that was running amuck in my brain and that really set some things in motion. Story 1 was not the plan. But as my friend Julia told me, “the plan is whatever you make it” and this freed me up to really allow myself to just let whatever happened, happen.
In the course of two days, several pieces have come together and I wrote the beginning chapter on my phone because it wouldn’t leave me alone when I was trying to sleep. So apparently I’m just always going to be a Panster. I don’t know how this story is going to end, but it wants to be written. It is not satisfied to wait until Story 2 gets done. It’s not even satisfied to wait until I work on all those blog posts I wanted to do.
So here’s to Story 1, flying along by the seat of its pants, ready and eager to be told. I hope it’s a good one.
Thanks for reading! 💖