Racheline and I have a lot of calendars and spreadsheets that keep us on track with our projects. We have so many stories we want to write, and so many stories we get to tell, that we need those things so we don’t forget what we’re working on and annoy every publisher ever. Or ourselves. Organization is important. We would not be able to do a fraction of what we do without planning.
But sometimes, things catch us by surprise. This weekend, there are a million things we’re supposed to be working on – a submission we just hit send on today, posts for the Starling blog tour (OMG it comes out in ten days!), a new short we wanted to try with a deadline that’s quickly coming up, and everything else we always have cooking in the background. Also, it’s Labor Day weekend, so Racheline was having a beach holiday with her partner and I had a friend staying at my place for the week, so it was also a See People We Like And Be Social And Relax (hah!) Before The Book Release weekend.
And then Saturday morning — I think she’d been at the beach less than 18 hours — I got 500 words of story from Racheline. It’s in a universe of ours that already exists, and about something we’d talked about writing, but it wasn’t anything we’d planned to start writing. Or really, given ALL THE DEADLINES we have to deal with this week, anything we should have been writing. I wrote another 500 words. Racheline wrote some more. Then I added even more. Then we started plotting right there in the doc, like we do sometimes when email just isn’t fast enough. It’s Monday evening and now we have a solid opening for a story that we’re not even quite sure what it is yet, except that we love it, can’t stop writing it, and it’s going to be fantastic.
This isn’t to say that discipline is useless or should always be thrown to the winds. But when it strikes, it’s worth running with, even if it means sleeping a little less some nights to do the things that do have deadlines. After all, Do the Thing! is about doing the things that you love, that you’re passionate about, and that help get you where you want to be in life.
So we want to hear about your passions, the things that you just can’t put down, and everything else you’re juggling around those lightning strikes of inspiration.
I used to fight the obsessive-compulsive roller coaster of my own inspiration. Try to fling off the seatbelt and bail midway. “But I’m supposed to be doing other things.” “I promised myself I’d work on this instead of that.” You know what would happen? I’d find myself ass-in-seat again screaming at the top of my lungs on this new roller coaster rather than doing what I was *supposed* to be doing anyway. So, lesson learned. Now I embrace it. Finish the ride. After all, I may never find this particular roller coaster again.