Planning Ahead

[I’m going to start posting only on weekdays—I need the weekends to write. 🙂 ]

For the commitment-challenged, there may be nothing more intimidating than planning a series. It can also be great fun, and for those of us who enjoy reading series, it’s a tempting project.

But is it a disaster waiting to happen?

I can’t count the number of projects I’ve planned, and abandoned. I don’t believe any time writing is ever lost, and that includes planning, but I can never say for sure that any project will make it all the way. I’m still not entirely sure how the last one made it, actually. And every time I start a project, I’m excited and I think it will go all the way.

And then it doesn’t.

So how can I say that I will write a trilogy—or more? How can I guarantee that I’ll be able to write the other books, when it’s such a struggle for me to write the one?

Obviously, if I never write the first, I’ll never be suggesting that the others will ever exist. But what if I do manage the first—and then can’t write the others?

Probably the best thing would be to write standalone books, which would be great. But my current idea (that I’ve worked on before… to complete failure, of course) is one that simply won’t fit in a single book. And as a fantasy fan, of course I love series, so it’s not that I don’t want to write a series. I’m just not sure if I can.

That’s why “commitment” is the skill every writer needs, I think. So no matter what the project, you can sit down and write it.

I don’t have that yet, proved by my second project which fizzled. I know, from the miracle that was my first project, that I can write a novel—a huge boost to my creative ego. But can I ever do it again? Or was it a fluke?

At this point, I think you just have to try things. I’ll plan out a series and give it a whirl. Part of me thinks I don’t want to even attempt to sell the first story (if I write it, of course) until I have all of them done, but that could take forever.

Because I wish for writing to be my livelihood, there’s a lot of pressure around the creative process that I don’t need. I’m trying to just live in this perfectly balanced world of denial in which I can try things, and fail, and try again—forever. When in reality, if I want to make a living at this, I can’t fail forever.

But I think, for now, I’m still in a space where I can just… try.

So I’ll plan for the world. And start with one step at a time.

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About J. Sevick

Just write.
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