Ever since I was a little kid, I've loved to know What Was Going to Happen. I would plan my future career and spend hours finding the best colleges to attend and all the classes I would sign up for. I had a strategy mapped out for grad schools, internships, and meeting Mr. Right. I knew how many kids I wanted to have, how far apart they'd be born, where our family would live, and what my work-life balance would look like.
Guess how many of those careful plans actually panned out in the way I imagined?
Yeah. None of them.
Still. Guess what old habit is dying hard in my adult writing life?
Like most of you writers out there, I dream of getting published. I know full well that's never gonna happen unless I work my tush off to get there. Yes, that requires a lot of work and careful planning. I've had self-imposed deadlines for drafting, strategies for sending to CPs, a carefully structured method and schedule for when I would send my queries, and to whom.
Now that the queries for ONE are out, I've started on the next WiP. And, as you may have guessed, I have a plan for when I'll start querying that one.
That's right. I'm planning my query process for a new novel before my currently querying novel is in the drawer.
In some corner of my twisted mind, this all makes sense. I'm allowing One to query widely, unfettered by any clinginess or obsession from yours truly. More importantly, I'm building an iron, spiky, barbed-wire fence around my heart to protect it in the case that One DOES go in a drawer. Sounds good, right?
Yeah. Except...not. Why?
My writing life could turn around AT ANY MOMENT.
Between the time I'm typing this blog post and the time it posts, I could get an email from an agent requesting The Call. (Highly unlikely, yeah, but it COULD happen.) It could happen any minute.
And here I am planning query flurries that I might never have to send.
Here's my worry: that being a far thinker keeps me from taking risks, because I'm always driving toward that self-set goal, sometimes without evaluating whether it's the best course. For example, I'm trying to barrel through this draft of Chrome, when maybe I should be overhauling One to make it into a more marketable genre.
(Like, I could make Elias a vampire, and Merrin a vampire hunter.
That's the sane worry, anyway. The insane one is...well...that I'm just insane. I have thoughts (that I frequently share with my CPs, sorry ladies) like, "At what point will I quit writing? MS #5? #7?" and "When should I self-publish?" and "How do I feel about small pubishers?" and "Who's buying the drinks if we all go to SCBWI this year? Will I go only if I'm agented, or only if I'm not agented?"
Are you guys ready to throw me across the room yet? (no hard feelings. Seriously.)
I don't really have a point for this blog post. I just know that sometimes my far-thinking-ness seems totally rational and reasonable, and other times I think, "Wow, I'm a certifiable nutcase." And then I kind of wonder if this far-thinking obsession will ever get me into legit trouble, or just leave me shaking my head at Past Me as per usual.
Sweet readers - Are any of you far-thinkers? How does it affect your writing? Do you do anything to curb it?