The Project, as they say, is in the can. All the editing is done, design work completed, promotion in place. Final judgment will be in the hands of readers, and more importantly, reviewers. So what does an author do when he or she finds that the project is over?
Some writers say that the next morning after they finish a book is when they start the next one. I am not in that camp. First I take a few days to kiss the wife, talk to the kids (and grandkid) and pet the dog. And then lots of reading. In the meantime, in the back of my mind I’m thinking about what I want to do next.
I’ve thought for a while that my next project would be a book entitled “Deal with the Devil,” next that presents the dilemma of a alien invasion that makes life actually better, but with a hidden price. And I may still do that project.
But I am letting my mind wander a bit, looking for that idea that obsesses me. That’s the way I work; I am pretty much an OCD writer. People talk about writing a page a day. I couldn’t do that. It would drive me crazy. I have to immerse myself in whatever subject I am pursuing. My wife has learned to tolerate it, but she sometimes laughs at the times I am in la-la land thinking about my book.
There are several criteria I use for deciding on a project. Some of them are intangible. One or two of them aren’t, such as: is it something I can do in the time I have at hand? Another, even more important is: Can I see the project in my head? Is the universe I am creating real to me, the author? If it isn’t, it’ll be nigh unto impossible to recreate it for my readers.
I’ve been inspired in ways that I never thought I would be by my recent project, Chosen. If you check elsewhere on this website, you will see my Great Adventure Mandate, which lists what my priorities are as a writer. And Chosen fits that list very well. One of my major goals is to illustrate what I consider the Great Adventure that comes with following Jesus Christ. Chosen has open doors I hadn’t considered, and I am keeping that in mind as I plan my next book.
Writers are a funny, strange bunch of people. No one author writes exactly the same as any other. All that matters is that the words get onto paper and in front of the readers. And that the words make a difference in their lives.