So there’s this part in Steven Pressfield’s The War of Art (one of my favorite creative practice texts) where young Steven is all “I finished writing my first book!” and his mentor says “Good for you. Start the next one today.”
I had planned to take a good long break between getting the draft of NEXT BOOK, aka A COINCIDENCE OF DOORS, aka THAT BOOK I SPENT FOUR DAYS TRYING TO EXPLAIN LAST WEEK, and writing, like, any fiction.
Since I’d just spent seven months working on a novel that I was pretty sure, even three months ago, would become one of those “trunk books” but I wanted to finish just to make sure-sure-sure and also for finishing’s sake.*
And then the next day I started another one.
And… well… it’s like I suddenly had all of this creative energy, and I was doing the thing where you grab every extra five minutes to throw a few more words in the draft, and waking up early because you can’t wait to start writing, and this past week is probably the happiest I’ve been in months because writing this book is so much fun.
It’s a mystery, probably because at least two of you commented that the opening paragraphs of A Coincidence of Doors read like the beginning of a mystery, and that made me think “I bet I could write a mystery,” and then it made me think about how the most interesting parts of Coincidence were the parts where Ellen was trying to solve puzzles and race against time and break into old Midwestern mansions, and then I plotted the entire book and set it up with the cliffhangers and the reverses and the obstacles, and, you know, OFF WE GO.
More on that later.
Next up: after sharing this month’s finance update and thinking about what I wanted to do with my increased freelance income, I’ve decided to raise the rates I pay freelancers for guest posts, from $50 to $100—because, as I mentioned yesterday, that is how capitalism is supposed to work.**
If you have already written a guest post for me and want to write another one, please pitch again. (You’ll get paid twice as much for the same amount of work!)
One more thing, while I have your attention: I put the ads back on my blog because it’s finally getting enough traffic to make the ads worthwhile, and because one of the other ways capitalism is supposed to work is the part where I don’t leave money on the virtual table.
Do you hate them? Do you even notice them? (Ideally you should notice the ads just enough to make the companies happy but not so much that it ruins your experience on this blog.)
Let me know what you think, because it’s not a huge amount of money and I could just as easily go ad-free. ❤️
*Technically, I didn’t finish A Coincidence of Doors. There are a few scenes in that draft where I literally typed “I’LL WRITE IT LATER.” But I finished it enough to count, for me.
**Or, at least, one of the ways in which capitalism might work.