How to Know When to Break Up
With your WIP.
Definitely no romantic falling out over here, but I wish I could say the same about my love for my current writing projects. The fact of the matter is, sometimes, as writers, we start a project that for some reason or another we can't finish. So what are the signs that your Work In Progress really should be the Work in the Drawer?
1) There's no joy in it anymore. Every day feels like work and you find yourself making up excuses to avoid actually working on it. I'm not saying that writing should be easy, because believe me it isn't. Sometimes, it's so hard it feels insurmountable. But underneath all that work, there should be joy in what you're creating.
2) You're in love with something else. Maybe it's that idea that you've been mulling around in your head for a few months. Maybe it's the draft you wrote a while ago and you've suddenly reconnected. Fact of the matter is, sometimes the project you think you SHOULD be working on, isn't the one you actually love. I say, follow your heart, and work on the WIP that calls to you.
3) You just don't feel capable of doing right by your WIP. We've all been there. We have a grand idea of what we want our project to be, but we just can't seem to make it work. I think there's something really wonderful about being a novice writer and being able to say "this story is important, but I can't write it YET." The "yet" is the important word. So long as we keep growing in our craft, we will get to the point when we can write that story, but maybe it's not right now.
There are lots of reasons why a writer might need to put down a project. These are just a few that I've been feeling about SIX SECRETS. It's too much work, I'm not finding joy in it, I don't feel capable of doing it justice YET.
The good news, I've gone back to revising FORTY WEEKS and I am loving it!
The nice thing about breaking up with a WIP is that unlike that break up with that jerk you dated back in college who never treated you right, you can always go back to the Work in the Drawer and resurrect that old love.
I do not, however, recommend going back to a jerk ex-boyfriend.