I often consider my writing to be the closet thing I have to a romantic relationship (at the moment), and just like relationships, there will be times where I feel I need to see/write other stories and characters.
My current series is one that I've been working on for several years. While I've finally untangled what I want to happen in the next book, I feel as though I've completely exhausted my mental and creative reserves doing so. Last night I couldn't sleep because I was worried about a scene I had rewritten. It was gnawing at me, sitting in the corner of my skull and mocking me. I felt as if I'd failed my story, failed my characters.
One of my absolute favorite musical artists is Teedra Moses. I first heard her debut album Complex Simplicity back in 2004 when it was first released, and it's still one of my absolute favorite R&B albums to this day. This week she finally releases her sophomore album Cognac & Conversation. 11 years after her first album. 11 years of mixtapes, touring, being featured on other artists' work, and finding the right label to promote her music and her vision of what she wants her career to be.
Teedra has taught me the value of not rushing your work, staying true to your core essence, and remaining relentless on the "luxurious undergrind." Rather than keep banging my fingers on a brick keyboard, I think it's better that I focus on other projects for a while and let the ideas, stories, and characters of Furious lead the way in their own time. I'll check in with them every now and then and leave the door of possibilities open, but I know that it's fruitless for me to devote all of my time and energy on a writership where both parties aren't fulfilled.
I hate feeling as though I'm abandoning a project, but just as a magnificent meal takes time to prepare, season, marinate, and cook, the same is true of creative projects. You can't take it out of the mental oven before it's ready. So here I am, leaving one dish in the oven while I start on another. In time, I hope to have a delicious meal to be enjoyed with cognac and conversation.