Business Thursday – The Ghosts of Projects Past

Over the past two weeks I’ve been talking about my goals for 2017 and how I intend to reach them. Among those goals, I’ve mentioned starting a new series without really specifying what that would be.

The reason for that is twofold.

First, I don’t want to get ahead of myself. It’s going to be best for me if I focus on the immediate tasks and projects. I’m working on the sequel to INTO THE SILENCE right now, so that’s my top priority as far as fiction is concerned. Then, because apparently that isn’t enough for me, I started up this 31 day blogging challenge, and that’s requiring a fair amount of concentration to maintain.

Adding the mental load of planning a new series isn’t in the cards just yet.

But it will be. I’ve got time set aside later in the year for that.

The second reason, however, is that I simply haven’t decided yet. I’ve got too many to choose from.

As I’ve mentioned now in my daily blogging, I’m a master at starting projects.

Not so much at finishing them.

To quote myself:

I have well over half-a-dozen half-finished novels stored on my computer. Every few months I neatly gather them together in an ever-increasing effort to organize my life, copy them onto flash drives and dropbox and whatever else comes to mind, and then promptly ignore them until my next burst of organizational effort.
Day 2, Why

The list is long and runs the gamut of genres in fantasy and science fiction. Taking a perusal of said computer storage, I’ve made significant progress on:

  • DAVID’S BLOOD (dark fantasy)
  • RUNIC (steampunk)
  • GODSLAYERS (epic fantasy)
  • A TREE IN TIMES SQUARE (middle-grade urban fantasy)
  • ABSALOM (dark epic fantasy)
  • PARADISE REMNANTS (science fiction action-adventure))
  • THE RUN (cyberpunk)
  • BLADESINGER (heroic fantasy)
  • SHOTGUN GUNSLINGERS (weird cyberpunk fantasy…thing…)
  • THE LAST GOD (post-apocalyptic epic fantasy)
  • THEREN LIADON (heroic fantasy)

Each of those has over 10,000 words of progress invested in it. Most have over 30,000. Two that I know of off the top of my head made it past 50,000, but there was no end in sight and so I gave up.

If I expand my search parameters to include things where I have done SIGNIFICANT amounts of worldbuilding and plot development, we add:

  • RIFT (science fiction mystery)
  • THE HOLLOW ONES (epic fantasy)
  • BILL’S GREAT ADVENTURE (heroic fantasy)
  • LIFETOWER (heroic/epic fantasy)
  • LYSANDRA (heroic fantasy)
  • SONGS OF HAELYN (heroic fantasy)

Yeah. It’s a long list. If all the words of fiction I’ve written on all these projects had all been focused into one thing, I wouldn’t have to write five novels this year, because they’d already be done and out.

(I mean, I would still write five novels anyways. But that’s beside the point.)

I have a lot of practice starting things.

But my goal this year is to FINISH projects. Close out those mental loops and move on to other things.

Plus have the satisfaction of finally knowing how some of these books end.

But I’ve no shortage of projects to choose from once the time comes.

The difficulty for me then is going to be in (a) maintaining my focus on the chosen project and (b) not letting the backlog of incomplete projects weigh me down and overwhelm me with their…incompleteness.

In other words, I need to keep my past patter of behavior from getting into my head and sabotaging my progress.

To do that, I need to wait for my writing habit to be better established before I start getting excited about a new project. A little more nose-to-the-grindstone, a little less head-on-cloud-nine.

A focus on the present.

So that’s what I’m doing. I’m about a quarter of the way through the HOMEWORLD sequel so far. We can check back in with this list once it’s done.

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