Thursday, August 7, 2008

What To Do, What To Do

So I've mentioned my start on book 2, but something has me hesitant to pick up work on it again. It could just be laziness, or lack of motivation (which, really, could be the same thing as laziness, no?), or just that my writing brain needs an extended break. But... my mind has been flitting back and forth to the non-fiction idea I had several months ago. I'd not finished book 1 yet, and some brainstorming worked its way to paper. Er, word document. So I have some notes filed away and have thought about making that my next project. But is that the right step to take? How do I know?* Is it the wrong idea when I'm trying to get representation for my fiction? Tell me your thoughts.

*I should point out I'm one who believes in signs, and I'm looking for guidance from above... I'll keep you posted.

13 comments:

Travis Erwin said...

You may need a break but in the need you need to choose whichever project you fill that you can sustain interest in until you finish. Go with your gut.

Joanne said...

Hi Janna,
I've heard that getting nonfiction published is easier than fiction. I don't know how true that is, but I've seen it said more than once. If that's the case, it seems like a published nonfiction book might help open the fiction door. I'll be interested in seeing what your other commenters think!

Janna Qualman said...

Thank you both! I'll definitely give it more thought, and I need to search the non-fiction boards at AW.

Are most non-fiction books proposed and contracted for BEFORE they're written? Seems I've seen several cases of that.

Melanie Avila said...

I agree, go with what your mind wants to do. Your next novel isn't going anywhere. I say do the non-fiction. :)

Melanie Avila said...

To answer your question - as an unpublished, unagented writer, you should complete the non-fic before querying.

colbymarshall said...

Go with whatever you feel most inspired to write/most passionate about at the time. If you write what is fresh on your mind rather than trying to force something different, you'll save yourself a headache or two when trying to finish it.

Joanne said...

Yes, you're right. I believe the proposal to submit to agents is quite in-depth, too. Except for memoir, which must be completed first and is pretty much queried like a novel.

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks for the encouragement, Colby! And the more headaches I can avoid, the better.

Melanie and Joanne, I'll have to look into it. Maybe it depends upon what type of non-fic you're writing, if that makes sense. *shrugs*

Misti Sandefur, Christian author/freelance writer said...

The best thing to do is switch to the other project and work on it a while. It may also help if you do take a break before working on the other project. Take a walk, do a load of laundry, catch up on some housework, take a nice hot bath... anything that will help clear your mind.

Those are all the things I do when I find myself unmotivated. You'd be surprised just how well it works to take a break, change projects and then return to the other project later.

By the way, don't quit looking for that sign. I've been praying for a sign about a personal situation for about a month now, and just the other night I was blessed with that sign. As the Bible says, sometimes you just have to have patience on top of your faith.

Janna Qualman said...

Misti, thanks. Your comment makes me want to share that a few months ago I was heavily distressed over something, and the bulletin at church one Sunday proclaimed "Be Faithful, Be Patient, Be Prayerful." Those were words I so needed to focus on at the time, and I try to remember them everyday now. :)

Joshua said...

do what Janna wants to do :)

Melanie Avila said...

Janna, I almost posted again last night but didn't want to overload you. ;) I believe the standard is to submit a proposal and sample chapters for non-fiction (except memoir, which IS treated like a novel). But, I've heard that sometimes agents want unpublished authors to complete the non-fic book before considering representation. I can't back up where I read that, but it's stuck in my head.

Janna Qualman said...

Thanks, Melanie! I've found some great info on AW, and it's pointing me in the right direction. As always. :)