Over the past couple of weeks I finished a late draft of one book and am closing in on the end of the first draft of the third Pretty Crooked book. Yay, me. I should be feeling awesome and productive, right? I should be popping Cristal and eating duck confit and making impulse purchases on Anthropologie.
Sure, I have some ideas for a new book, but I've come to the conclusion that Abed-voice could be right about the dried-up part. I've been really pushing hard for the last six months, working on two projects at once plus the day job and I think I need a little break. So I've decided to focus exclusively on my current project and not to jump into anything new for a little while. I'll use that time to read more, take in more films, art, music, ideas and regenerate. Gather up some creative momentum. There will always be pressure to write more, to move on to the next thing, and I am going to exercise my writerly right to ignore it.
In the meantime, a few weeks ago, I read this piece in the NY Times about where sentences come from, and I think it gets at the fear most people encounter when they try to put their thoughts into typographical order. In his editorial, Verlyn Klinkenborg says there's no magic. We just need to start with sentences and build from there—eventually we can trust our own thought process. When I'm ready to begin a new book, I plan to reread this first.
What about you? What have you learned about your own creative process? What has helped you make the leap to a new project?