Starting Over.

So I mentioned last week that things with my new book were Not Going Well. I think I also may have mentioned that I haven’t worked on it since the beginning of April. What I didn’t mention, however, is that I’ve decided not to finish it, and to start over with something new. From scratch. It’s a huge bummer, actually. I started working on this book – really writing it – back in January. I had an interesting idea, I had some great characters, I had done quite a bit of research. The problem was, this book, as my lit agent so eloquently put it, was a “departure.” As in, it wasn’t chick lit. As in, it didn’t even resemble chick lit. As in, if you put this book in a short skirt, some knee high boots and stuck on a long blond ponytail with a swingy little curl at the end of it, it still would not fool anyone into thinking it was chick lit. No, this book I attempted to write was Women’s Fiction, and it was serious, with a serious subject matter and serious characters who had serious problems. Like I said, it was a departure. But I didn’t care. I wanted to grow as a writer, to take on something different, to not get pigeonholed into the mommy-lit genre and to not be writing books about a woman whose kids are coincidentally the same ages as my own. I wrote two-hundred and sixty five pages. That’s half a book, at least; maybe more. I was making progress. I was going to be finished by August.

But then we went on vacation at the beginning of April, and I took a week off, and then I took another week off because the show was premiering and I was distracted and couldn’t really think about anything else. And then two weeks turned into four, and four into eight, and I’ve been playing with my kids and taking them to the park and hanging out with my daughter, trying to squeeze every last, delicious ounce out of her final few weeks of preschool. And although I’ve really enjoyed every second of it and I’m not sorry for it at all, I didn’t want to not be writing. If I’d been itching to write, I could just as easily have poured those last few ounces of preschool down the drain and sat happily at my computer for eight hours a day, twice a week, just as I’d been doing since January. My heart just wasn’t in it, though I couldn’t quite figure out why. After all, I was on a roll, I knew where I was going with the story, why couldn’t I pick it back up again? I am NOT a procrastinator – I was the girl in college who turned papers in two weeks early because I couldn’t stand having them hang over my head.