Now, I know i said just yesterday that the waiting is the hardest part, but that was before I had a fresh new notebook in my hands. You see, many of you know that I write long-hand first, then transcribe it into the computer. And I’m very particular about the notebooks I use. No, not like Moleskine or anything like that (though I have several friends who swear by them, I just cannot justify that much for a notebook…not with how I go through them). Just a simple note notebook with an unassuming cardboard cover, 7.75 x 5 (like a book itself!), 60 sheets, college ruled (why would any want wide ruled? Seriously?), made by some random paper company called PP International, LLC, and they’re cheap, just one cent less than a buck-fidy. The only place I’ve seen these notebooks sold is in Meijer stores, which was great when I lived in Michigan, but they’re a little harder to get to here in Chicagoland (seriously, my dad and stepmom will buy a bunch and send them to me as part of my birthday and Christmas gifts). Luckily, there’s one near my boyfriend’s apartment. And my boyfriend just went shopping there the other day and picked one up for me while he was there.
A brand new, untouched, beautiful, wonderful new notebook. A better symbol for untapped potential and unending posibilities does not exist. We’ve all heard the Vladimir Nabakov quote, right? “The pages are still blank, but there is a miraculous feeling of the words being there, written in invisible ink and clamoring to become visible.” And, me, I have so many stories to write. Lately, my haunted house story has been nibbling at the back of my brain, then there’s my Poe story, and I’ve always been working on a pretty neat concept about a small town and fairies. I’m playing around with a historical fiction of Saint Teresa of Avila in the style of my short story, “The Wartburg Incident,” where Martin Luther throws an inkpot at the devil. There’s a space pirate epic I’ve been meaning to get to…oh! And a regular pirate one, too. And don’t even get me started on the Aryneth books that need to be finished, and all the short stories I’m trying to complete and send out.
You can see why a concept like “Writer’s Block” leaves me baffled at times. My Cup of Ideas clearly runneth over, and it seems my muse starts to pour even more when I have something like a fresh new notebook waiting to be filled. But here’s the thing. I can’t fill it. Not yet. Not anymore. Before, I would dive into a new story the moment I had new pages to fill, but I’m a professional now. Whatever story lies invisible in those lines will just have to wait, because I have other things that I have to finish first. There’s so much editing to do on Soulless, and the edits I’ve made to Soulless mean I have to redo what I’ve done so far for Heartless. And after Heartless, there’s Fearless, and then I’ve also got Serpent in a Cage waiting for the first round of edits, too. These projects are my top priority, so, sorry new notebook, you might just have to wait.
Sure, I might catch an idea and decide to dabble on writing it down here and there, but my main focus cannot be some bright new shiny toy. My main focus has to be the road I’m already traveling. The new concepts and ideas and pages might seem appealing, but I’ll appreciate them more when I’m able to give them the attention I’m giving The Slayer Saga right now. If anything, maybe it’ll just work as a prompt to get my butt moving quickly. The sooner that’s finished, the sooner I can move on to the next great notebook.
I know some people who write two or three books at a time while editing another one. That sounds crazy, but it works for some. Others have to do one thing at a time. Whatever works. But I don’t see anything wrong with jotting down a little of a story before sitting down to edit.