Sounds easy, right? Of course you write because you love it. Or at least, that’s how you started.
Do you still?
Are you writing the book of your heart every time? Or are you chasing trends because you’re in love with the idea of selling a book – any book – to the highest bidder?
It’s surprisingly easy to slip into the latter situation, usually without even realizing it. And more often than not, it doesn’t result in our best work nor pan out as we hope.
So how do you know if you love that book? I don’t mean do you love drafting or revising or the many stages of building a book – I mean, do you love the story? Does it resonate with you? Do you have to write it?
There was point when I was deep in the seemingly endless query trenches that I stopped and started several possible books over the course of a few months. At first, I thought they were great ideas. Why wouldn’t they be? I’d recently read books just like them! Of course they’d get snapped up. But I couldn’t finish them.
They didn’t feel right. They didn’t feel like mine.
It took me a while, but I finally figured out (for me) which ideas are worth pursuing. It’s the ones that grab hold of me and shake until words come out my ears. It’s the ones with characters who wake me up in the middle of the night demanding I listen to them. Or whose voices are so persistent I can’t follow a real conversation and end up so startled a human is speaking to me, I spit water out on the floor of a fancy restaurant (fun fact: this actually happened the night the idea for MONSTROUS landed in my head. Yes, I am the smoothest person you know.)
For me, it's the ones that I can't not write that I keep forging ahead on, even when drafting feels like pulling taffy from my brain, and revision like hacking my way through a jaguar-infested jungle. If I didn't love them, I'd never get through with all my gray matter and limbs intact.
How about you? Do you love the book you're writing now? How do you know?
MarcyKate Connolly writes middle grade and young adult fiction and becomes a superhero when sufficiently caffeinated. When earthbound, she blogs at her website and spends far too much time babbling on Twitter. Her debut upper MG fantasy novel, MONSTROUS, will be out from HarperCollins Children's Books in Winter 2015.