November 3, 2011

writer friends, how do you self-motivate?

People (yes, literary agents are people despite the rumors) keep telling me my novel is well written but not right for them at this time. I can understand their position even when the novel seems to fit exactly with what the agents say in their "what I'm looking for" paragraphs on their web sites.

But I'm not posting a rant about the query process. That's a post I've written in my head a hundred times and will keep caged there.

Rather, I'm looking for tips on getting remotivated. Specifically, I've got an idea for a fun and exciting sequel to the novel-on-submission, but I'm having a hard time committing myself to it when the original is getting that "let's just be friends" reaction from agents. Should I look for a new idea, or should I work on that sequel anyway?


Stacy said...

Your time is probably limited, but is there any way you could work on both?

PJD said...

Thanks, Stacy, for your comment here and also on facebook. Really, I don't have time to work on ONE, let alone both. So I have to sacrifice something else in life in order to write. Usually it's sleep and exercise since I can't seem to bring myself to sacrifice family time or Day Job success or friends and volunteer activities.

jjdebenedictis said...

I'd suggest outlining the new idea thoroughly, then putting it away.

There is no guarantee the first novel will get picked up. Personally, I wouldn't commit to a series until I knew whether it had a future.

Ello - Ellen Oh said...

Pete - Can you write the sequel as if it could stand alone? Then it is worth pursuing. Then the first book could become a prequel instead if the second gets picked up. But it won't happen unless you can make it stand alone - which you probably can do, right?

PJD said...

Jen, you summed up the situation I'm in well. I've outlined the story but am unsure whether to commit to it yet.

But Ello, you nailed it. After I posted this, I thought of that exact idea. It will take some rework of the plot, but not much. It is more of a sequel than a second in a series, so it could stand on its own according to my original ideas. I think I'll probably go that route.

Thank you both!

Richard Levangie said...

From my martial arts training. Simple.

When the writing is going well, keep writing. When the writing is going badly, keep writing.

The journey is the reward.

PJD said...

Richard, I guess I agree generally, but when the journey becomes no fun and there are a dozen other things that would be fun, then what's the reward? Life is short.

Precie said...

A (few) day(s) late and a dollar short...I had the same thought as ello. Write the sequel as a standalone with interconnections. Just adding my vote.