(Alternately titled: inspiration is fickle.)
Some writers have their one novel, their magnum opus, the one they've been working on since they could hold a pen. Some writers finish a novel, then move on to another one.
And then there's me.
I used to have only one novel at a time (which I would quickly abandon, but that's another story; pun intended). Then, for whatever reason, I got buried in all of the story ideas. (See above picture for reference.)
I wrote my 2011 fantasy novel, Silver Tears. Then it got a loosely-connected prequel novel. Then a loosely-connected prequel-prequel. Then a sequel to the prequel. Then it got about 5,000 other connected novels. And this was only the beginning.
I soon branched out from fantasy to sci-fi and contemporary. At the same time, my random short-story-turned-trilogy, the Because I'm Irish series, was flourishing and turning into three books. I had ideas for stand-alones. I had ideas for several series. I had ideas for flat-out SAGAS.
This trend has continued. I have 96 boards on Pinterest, and approximately 45 of them are some sort of novel idea. (Yes, I just counted.) Some of them are finished, one of them has been rewritten, and some of them fizzled out almost as quickly as they began.
The problem with having so many novels is that my brain is constantly at a toss-up as to which one it's going to focus on. I go through phases of inspiration where one novel is constantly on my mind. Can I predict it? Nope. Can I stop it? Nope. Can I write another novel when my mind is on another? Also a pretty big nope.
This is a phenomenon... a phenomenon that I'm going to dub THE NOVEL CAROUSEL.
Instead of horses, my novel carousel contains ... my novels. It moves at its own will and in its own time. It's probably accompanied by that creepily-cheery music. (Actually, I desperately hope not.) And the most important thing is, it's almost always moving, taking my novels with it on a joyride (and me along with them). The novel carousel can be triggered by anything--a picture, a movie, a song--anything that reminds me of one of my novels. If the novel carousel lands on a novel, I get ridiculously inspired for it, and I almost have to write it.
In other words, inspiration is fickle. Example #1 of many: For my post on the blog this week, I was going to write about my current WIP, Evanescent Fireworks. But then I remembered that last week, my WIP was Here Comes the Sun. And before that, it was Spaceboy.
So, I'm not going to even try to pretend that I know what I'm doing. Here's the thing... YES, motivation and sticking to one project is so, so important. I definitely have stuck to one project, and I definitely will again. But currently, I'm stressed out and trying to give myself a little break. As per my New Year's goals, I'm trying to let myself write what I want when I want to write it. So, I'm just going to, um, sit back, and... enjoy the ride? Let the carousel spin as it may.
Do you have a novel carousel?