Paranormal Composition

It’s been too long since I’ve blogged, and while I hope to have a new episode of YA Rewind up by tomorrow, it’s already been delayed a week, so I feel like I need to apologize, which is kind of silly, especially since I have no idea how many people even listen to my little podcast. The only person I’m responsible to these days is myself, but the lack of new Hollywood Jane content is starting to weigh on me like a tell-tale heart. Thump-thump. Thump-thump.

The reason for the absence is simply that I’m trying to focus my scatter brain onto finishing the first draft of my revamped YA novel. I wrote this book for the first time nine years ago. Only a few months ago, after countless rewrites, query letters, and manuscript requests, did I decide to change the course of the story. Why? Because while there was nothing wrong with what I’ll call The Practical Orphan’s Guide 1.0, it had wandered away from satire into parody, it was trying too hard to be clever, and ended up lacking an emotional core – which, since I have a whole series planned, would never have gotten me through the sequel. Sometimes, even when what you’ve done is good, good just isn’t good enough.

But rewriting a book after nine years is hard. Really hard. Like, I had no idea how hard. Deciding what can be kept, tearing myself away from old sentences that are funny, but no longer relevant, just trying to move forward without turning into an editor because someone fed me after midnight. (I’m a writing Gremlin.) This isn’t murdering your darlings – this is wholesale slaughter of baby seals. It should be the basis for a show called Paranormal Composition because as I work on the new story I’m constantly haunted by the old story. Writing without editing has been the hardest part since it goes against every instinct I have, and this is the first time I’ve really forced myself to do it.

So every time I think about blogging, I also think: Shouldn’t I be writing? Every time I tweet – shouldn’t I be writing? Instead of maintaining my presence on social networks which is both crucial to my ‘profession’ and detrimental to my concentration, shouldn’t I be writing?

So that’s my excuse. Of course, some days I wind up exploring the Marvel universe wikipedia for hours on end, or refresh a page to see if anyone’s added my Etsy store to their favorite shops. I admire writers who can actually sit down and write every day. It doesn’t always work out for me. It’s a good habit to have, certainly, and discipline is important. But sometimes you can’t reach the words, and sometimes that’s really scary, or really frustrating, or makes you feel like a failure.

It passes. And I’m nearly at the end of this book, looking forward to taking it apart again, looking forward to starting something new.

I’ll keep you posted.

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