Okay–I admit it. I have a bunch of works in progress, in three different worlds. If, as Phillip Roth has been quoted as saying, “The road to hell is pave with works-in-progress,” then I am strapped into the handbasket and barreling down the highway toward an extremely hot destination.
But it’s not my fault.
I have to write when the mood strikes and sometime the mood strikes for a different manuscript than the one it struck for only the day before.
As Ray Bradbury said, “I don’t need an alarm clock. My ideas wake me.” I write what I can when I can, and write the second story in an alternate color, such as green. Fortunately–once I have the ideas down for the other world, a bolt of inspiration strikes me and I am again back on track with the new nano manuscript.
And then there is the annoying problem of writing the back story I will never use, but which serves to cement the story in my head as I am creating it. I write that in red. At the end of November, all these things will be easy to cut and sort out by color-code. They are important in the long run–the ideas for the shelved work-in-progress will not be wasted, and the background material for the current work-in-progress is there so that my world and my characters will have substance in my mind when I write them.
This is my month of writing madly–of dedicating all my time to the craft. My month of chicken-pot-pies and frozen pizza. This is the month when my daughters do all the work of preparing the upcoming holiday meal and I steal a few brief hours to play with the babies.
And perhaps write a few notes in my notebook as ideas strike me. And the best part is, all this garbage I spew today will have a long journey through the editing process before it hits the pages of an actual book.