Stephanie Burgis
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Impractical happiness
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Last night was pretty much a bust (as some of you know from my whining!) - the horrifying discovery of large, unsuspected library fines, missing books, etc...lots of little stuff that added up to me feeling really depressed by the end of the night. But this morning I made a completely impractical decision that completely turned my mood around: I started writing Book 2 in the Kat series.

Now, this is something I've told myself for the past few months that I could not and absolutely must not do, because it's so commercially impractical. For every Lois McMaster Bujold who sells the first three, completed books in her series in one swell foop, there are an awful lot of writers who never sell Book 1 and thus have spent an awful lot of time on later books in a series that will never be published. But every single unrelated novel idea I've had since finishing the first draft of Kat by Moonlight has felt so...well...unexciting, as compared to my ideas for Book 2!

This morning I decided to toss practicality and common sense to the wind. I wrote the first draft of Kat by Moonlight in four months. If I can finish Book 2 within six months, I won't feel that it's been wasted time, even if neither book is ever published, because this is a project worth doing just for the sake of it, even if it's only to entertain myself. After I finish the first draft of Book 2, I'll be practical. But not right now!

The moment I finally gave myself permission to start thinking about Book 2, ideas started flying into my head. I grabbed my notebook and filled two pages with notes about the opening of the novel. Then I pulled out my Jane Austen action figure, set it on the desk next to my computer, started typing, and wrote the first 1300 words of Chapter One, giggling as I wrote them, in less than half an hour. And all day since then, I've felt happy and bubbling with ideas, already excited about tomorrow's writing session. So it may have been a horribly impractical decision in terms of career planning, but it was a great decision in terms of my mood and general wellbeing.

Right now I'm listening to the soundtrack for Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (gifted by my wonderful youngest brother a few days ago!) and trying to figure out a good working title for the new novel. I already know we'll need to take another research trip to Bath. Damn. :)

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