Sometimes I get so tired of me

But not in a bad way


Though we can't definitively trace our McCollum line past Tennessee in the 1700s, we guess that we're part of the MacCallum clan, and we have this clan crest hanging in our home. The Latin means 'He attempts difficult things.'I can be highly obsessive. I can get so sucked into a story—my own or someone else’s. I can be consumed by that world.

And then I need a break.

This is especially true of stories that have a very strong voice—for me, especially in first person. For example, I love Ally Carter’s Gallagher Girls novels (though right now I’m digging Heist Society more, but that’s probably because I’ve read it more recently). I love Melanie Jacobson’s novels. Both of these authors use a strong voice in first person, and it’s great and I love it.

But I only love so much of it at a time. I cannot read more than one book in a row.

Similarly, in my own writing, I’ve gotten to the point where I have to take a break from my own stories and my own voice. Once upon a time, I did write three novels in a series in a row (and within a year).

Now? I can’t—and I don’t think I should—write two stories from the same POV in a row. In fact, I don’t know if I can continue to write the in the same person/tense. Five of my last six works (a broken drawer novel, I, Spy, a NaNo novel that I won’t even get to edit for like a year, Mr. Nice Spy, and the sequel to I, Spy) have all been first person present tense. I never thought I’d write first person or present tense, but I’ve come to love it.

And I’ve also come to need a break. So I’m up for something different. Third person past, my old friend? A mix of first and third? Novella, serial, novel? Maybe something a bit more literary, or a different genre? I don’t know.

Go do something that makes you sweatBut I do know this: I’m compelled to grow constantly, to change constantly. Even in other creative hobbies, like knitting, I don’t like to undertake a project unless I either love the finished result or will learn a new technique (preferably both). I love to challenge myself—and I’m ready for a new and different challenge.

Then, once I’ve accomplished something different and new, once I’ve pushed myself in a new way, once I’ve branched out, then I’m refreshed and ready to go back to another series with new energy.

What do you think? Do you live to challenge yourself in your writing? If so, how? Genre hopping? Story elements? Character? Voice? Person/tense?

Photo by Tribesports

2 thoughts on “Sometimes I get so tired of me”

  1. I don’t know if I actually set out to challenge myself, but I do know that I let my imagination run wild and wherever it takes me, I’m willing to go. I think that’s why I’ve written novels in maybe 6-7 different genres/age groups/etc. so far. 🙂 Oh, yeah, and I switch between tenses/POVs too (not in the same novel, generally, but between novels).

  2. I TRIED the first person present thing with my most recent novel and my publisher said it just didn’t work so now I’m rewriting it. That’s what I get for experimenting, hah! But … my other novel I’m 30k is first person present and it seems to be working according to my publisher, so that’s a good thing. Maybe I just had to write a complete novel in that tense and POV to get it down for a new project.

    I hear you about needing to take a break, though. It’s why I take off the weekends and just read. Helps a lot. 🙂

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