Friday Writing Question: How many …?

Happy Friday, SErs! Harmony here ๐Ÿ™‚

Today is a Friday Writing Question day.

Last year proved a tough year for me all around both personally and in my writing and creative life. I guess, looking back, the two went hand-in-hand. While I published a collection of short stories and poems early in the year, I didn’t actually produce anything new. Or so I told myself. All the stories and poems, I had created the year previous (and some earlier than that). I just put them together in one book. Likewise with my book of zen musings this January–most of those originally saw life as Monday Musings on my blog. I only added four to the end to round it up to 52 for the weeks in the year, as well as the intro and author’s note, and–of course–magicked it into book form. So, all in all, I felt quite down about my writing life … like I needed air.

However, at the start of this difficult time, I had little in my writing file that I hadn’t seen through to publication. All of a sudden, those ‘unpublished’ and ‘part written’ folders filled right up. This had never happened to me before. What I started, I finished.

Only now, when looking at my writing question, have I realised how productive that time was for me. It’s just taken a while to see it that way. I did write, quite a bit, but a lot then fizzled out, much like my energy levels kept on doing, lols. Again, an obvious correlation. The thing is, I kept trying. And it’s all good fodder for the future. I’m sure that some of those will either see completion or provide great ideas for something entirely new. And, I also realise that I had led a blessed writing life up until then. All of us will encounter writer’s block or some such at some point.

So, with that in mind, I wanted to ask you all …

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have? And … How do you feel about that?

Okay, so I cheated … that’s really two questions. Hopefully, you’ll bear with me!

What I’m seeing is that even when I think I haven’t produced much, in actual fact, I have. It all comes down to how I measure my success. At the end of the day, writing is like breathing for me. The publishing and finishing is something else.

And in March this year, I wrote Backstage in just 15 writing days (23 calendar days). So, it would seem that during my ‘down’ time, something had been germinating and waiting for the right time. All those seemingly abortive efforts had kept the pot on the back-burner and stopped the water from going cold. So, when I felt ready to bring it to the boil, I didn’t have such a long way to go as I might have done.

Okay, so my tally is: 17 part written / 1 finished but not published (and I have its sequel part written!)

Share your answers in the comments below. I’d love to hear what you have to say and what experiences you’ve had as a writer.

Harmony Kent

40 thoughts on “Friday Writing Question: How many …?

  1. I am so far behind, but I love this (these?) question(s?). I’ve got (counting the trunk novel I wrote during elementary/high school) I’ve got 8 partials (actually all except one of them is a completed rough/first draft) and 2 that need more revision. One (two?) are the same novel written years apart, and so the same general storyline. And a start to another (okay, maybe that counts as a partial). And notes for Book two, which I’ve started/drafted, like, 3 times so far. Yikes! It’s scarier when it’s written out ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

    Like

  2. An interesting post, Harmony. I am always intrigued to read about other writers issues, ideas and the like. I have three half finished books at the moment and one I have just managed to finish. My next goal is to get my poetry book done and dusted and I have an idea that won’t go away and give me peace so that will also need to be attended to this year. The others can wait, I don’t mind.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That sounds like a good approach, Robbie. I’ve come to the same place with my part written books: they can wait as long as it takes. Best of luck with the one just finished and your poetry one! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I have two unpublished novels. One will most likely never see the light of day (it’s the first one I ever wrote). The other one needs major editing and revising, and I don’t want to invest the time in it right now. Currently, I am revisiting my series and cleaning up the writing (getting rid of repetitive words or passive voice issues, replacing weak words, etc.). Once I finish that, I’m going to write a prequel to the series. Then, I’ll decide to revisit my unpublished novel or write another story that’s getting a little louder in my head. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have 3 unfinished novels (on one I am working, on the other 2 work is scheduled this year) and 2 short stories volumes in progress (one to be published this autumn, one next year). I work at the short stories in between novels, so it is OK.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Working on the shorts between novels sounds like a great plan, Marina! It’s so good to hear you have so much going on. Good luck with everything ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I have a new thriller novel underway, with a working title of “Beyond the Barricades” which has rejuvenated my muse into hyperdrive. During the creative crash & burn chaos that hits me when I end a book series, I still write, but it is usually my observations of life in the form of poetry or dark short stories that provide me with the emotional release I search for. Being in a wheelchair has restricted only the physical aspect of my life, but that very restriction enables my mind to roam as freely as the wind. I have a new release coming out next week, and that is a collection of those short stories, some dark, and some that I hope will leave you smiling through tears. I love this crazy, chaotic, emotionally fulfilling journey we all undertake because we simply can’t breathe without it. Thanks for posing the question, Harmony.

    Liked by 4 people

    • I think that’s what hit me after Backstage, Sooz. You’re the first person I’ve come across to name it for me, lols. I wonder if I didn’t dive into my next big novel too soon afterward (like, straight off the bat, ha ha). Short stories and poems seem the way to ‘recover’ (ahem). I look forward to both your latest book and the WIP! Best of luck with it all ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Harmony! Don’t you just love that feeling just before the release of your new book on an unsuspecting public? I’m beginning to think that childbirth and book birth are intrinsically linked: both cause nervous anticipation, bouts of nausea, loss of sleep, and occasional emotional outbursts. lol … Now I’m off to find my white jacket with the wrap around sleeves, numerous buckles, and a padlock.๐Ÿ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Soooo many! SMH. When I go back and read them, some are fairly good if I could just figure out how to end them. Others are embarrassingly awful. Thanks for posing this question. I need to get back to business. Happy Friday, Harmony!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, some I cringe when I read. Others, I think, ‘Wow. Did I really write something that good??!!???’ lols ๐Ÿ™‚ Happy Friday too, Linda! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You were being hard on yourself, Harmony. You had accomplished more than you gave yourself credit for. I do the same thing. I think we all hold onto ideas and partial words, when the inspiration comes. I find that if I don’t jot an idea down, it tends to slip away. But, if I write it down, I can look at it a year later and it all comes back. I have one completed unpublished book (trying for a publisher) and two more outlined in the series waiting to be written. Story ideas are everywhere – some on my computer – some in folders.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Jan! Yes, I have to agree with you. From all these comments, the common theme seems to be ideas everywhere, lols. Fingers crossed for you with the book you’re trying for a publisher ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I have lots of ideas that I’ve jotted notes for, and a number of finished trunk novels from way back, but only 1 or 2 started works I never finished. Those are very old too. Somewhere along the line I disciplined myself to work on one project at a time and finish it before moving onto something new. I’m not sure when or how that happened, but it seems to be working so I’m sticking with it, LOL. And I’m still amazed at how quickly you wrote Backstage. Astounding!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s great discipline, Mae! I’m still amazed at Backstage too; it even beat Finding Katie (8 weeks) which had been my quickest book ever, lols. Thanks, Mae! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  9. I’ve been writing for a long time. I started with short stories, then moved to novels. Lots of them came CLOSE with publishers, lots and lots of nice notes from editors. Most of them said, “We love your writing and this book, but we’re not buying cozy mysteries right now.” I still wrote them. That was back when there was no self-publishing, and if a publisher didn’t take your work, it went in the dead file. I have more rejected novels in 2 plastic storage boxes than any writer needs:) But I wrote because I loved to write, When I finish a story, I celebrate that as a success. It takes emotional energy to write, and when life kicks you around, it’s not always there. So, congrats to you on finishing some of your work. Cheers!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Good for you for keeping going, Judi! Yes, we have it so much easier these days with the self-pub option. J K Rowling got rejected 12 times before her HP books got accepted! More than a few publishers told her there was no market for that type of book, lols ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

    • P.S. … forgot to answer the emotional energy comment, lols. Agree completely. Right now, Iโ€™m going through just that. Paradoxically, this is when my poems flow instead of my long stories. So, until Iโ€™m not quite so flat, Iโ€™ll have to settle for my writing equivalent of doodling! ๐Ÿ˜Š

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I have two folders! One is what I call a ‘story start’ more an idea for a tale, and very short. The other is actual manuscripts that have yet to make it all the way through the process. Luckily, this one actually has movement.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I have two trunk novels that I can harvest from. I also have a partial novella called Estivation that I’ll finish one day. There is also a partial short story called Siri, Should I Kill Myself? Other than that, and my WIP, I tend to finish things. My new habit involves a hierarchy. Ideas merit a note in an app. Those that won’t leave me alone get a partial outline. I keep dabbling at those outlines, and if one looks relatively complete I write it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Pingback: Author Inspiration and This Week’s Writing Links | Staci Troilo

  13. Hmmmm. I just have my current WIP, which I’m debating whether to finish or not, as I’m not sure this series needs a 4th book or whether I’m being self-indulgent due to love of the main character. But then again, I’ve only been writing for five years, and have published 2 books each year, so I figure I’ve earned a “Step Back and Reconsider” moment or two. Until I write my first book in 2013, all my writing energy was spent on several blogs I had going. Unless you count all the poems I wrote at the age of five. I don’t even jot down ideas. I think of a story to tell, and I start telling it, and until this 4th Wake-Robin book, I didn’t stop until I published it. I have NO unfinished tales lying around in boxes or piled on bookshelves, so now, I feel bereft! You guys got ’em, and I don’t. sniff ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

      • Thanks, Harmony, but I’m still sniffing, here. I want a big box full of ideas and half-finished tales! I guess I could just go jot some down all at once, but somehow, I don’t think it would be quite the same. Obviously, I was a slacker until five years ago. ๐Ÿ˜ฏ Guess I have to “write like the wind” now to make up for that. ๐Ÿ˜€

        And good for you for turning “nothing” into “something,” and realizing you really HAD been productive! It’s all in taking the time to really look at everything you’ve been up to. Thumbs up!

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Ii usually finish what I start. I have a novella started for a Kindle World, but that’s been put aside given Amazon’s latest stunt. And I have a Valentine’s novella that I haven’t finished, but I will at some point. Maybe I can release it next January. I’m okay with these projects being in holding patterns. And my idea file is overflowing, so if these two languish for a while, I’m okay with that, too.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Not sure if I should count all the ideas I’ve put in notebooks with the intention of writing down the road. That would put the count to somewhere in the 30’s. Only so many hours in the day and sleeping takes up a bunch of those. I do have one book that I never published because it was the sequel to my first attempt at publishing, which didn’t go well. This is from way back in high school too, so it’s not very good. I’ve harvested what I could from that series to be used later, so I’m okay with it being left in the shadows.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, to have those hours in a day, lols. Great that you’ve harvested what you can from that old attempt in high school; I wish I’d saved my earlier stuff. It sounds like you have lots of ideas to build upon at some point, Charles ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

We'd love to know what you think. Comment below.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s