Miranda Kenneally

Mexican Food Cures Writer's Block

In a Weird Spot…

Earlier this month, I turned in my 5th book in the Hundred Oaks series. It’s called FEELS LIKE FATE, and it’s about a girl training to run a marathon in honor of her boyfriend who died. I’d been working on the book for a year – since last October, so I was happy for the chance to breathe. I took a week off to binge-read a bunch of trashy books (like you do), and then I clapped my hands and thought, what’s next?

I’ve actually been writing continuously since early 2009. I got my agent in 2009 and I’ve been churning out books at a crazy rate since then. I don’t think there’s been a time when I haven’t been feverishly trying to figure out a story.

But now I’m on a break. Back in August, my editor told me she was leaving for a new job – a great job. I’m really excited for her. But we had a process worked out for my books. I would come up with a hook (i.e. a one-sentence, high concept description of the book), my editor would approve it, and then I’d be off to the races. Of course, sometimes it took a long time to figure out that one-sentence hook, so it wasn’t an easy process. But I had a process, which is important to me.

Now I’m in a holding pattern because I don’t have a new editor yet. My agent says I need a break and now is a good time to rest and wait for the creative juices to build back up. This is also a good thing because my eyes have been hurting from looking at screens too much. My agent is definitely right that I need to rest.

But I don’t really do well with downtime, to be honest. I feel most comfortable when I’m working toward something or have a challenge to face. I have a couple of ideas for new books in the Hundred Oaks series. I also have an idea for an adult romance novel. I wouldn’t mind trying to write in that genre, because I love it almost as much as I love YA. Regardless of what I write, I’m excited to get started on a new book.

But I am not sure what it will be like to work with a new editor. Will the editor want a full synopsis before approving the direction I want to go in? Or will the editor just tell me to write what I want to write? Or will the editor want to know what the back cover copy would eventually say? (The back cover copy is super important – the publisher needs to know how to market your book, and having a great hook on the back of a book is key.)

I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a bit lost right now. I’m wondering if I should just start writing one of the plot ideas I have. Or if I should start making up a list of potential one-sentence hooks. Maybe I should take the time to write a bunch of bad poetry (aka my favorite pastime).

Do you guys have any tips for getting back on the writing wagon? Have you guys ever felt lost when it comes to your writing?

Post to Twitter

No Comments

Place your comment

Please fill your data and comment below.
Name  (Required)
Email  (Required)
Website  (Optional)
Your comment