There’s “off one’s rocker,” and then there’s “perched on the edge, clinging to the armrests”

This is how a non-fiction project usually works: I create a proposal, including an outline and sample chapter(s), a publisher accepts the proposal, and then I write the book.

This is how a fiction project usually works: I secretly write something which may or may not turn out to be a book. If it reaches a somewhat book-like stage, I show it to my writing group, then my agent. If they agree that it might resemble a book, then the manuscript is submitted to a publisher.

These are both good systems. I’m comfortable with them.

But this year, something changed. This year, I signed a contract for a middle-grade novel which was NOT YET WRITTEN. This is theoretically a good thing. It means that a publisher trusts that I’m capable of producing a viable manuscript.

BUT WHAT IF THEY’RE WRONG??

I am now at the stage of writing something which may or may not turn out to be a book, except that it darned well better turn out to be a book, because CONTRACT.

I’m finding this somewhat frightening. Scratch that. I’m finding this Exorcist-level frightening.

My manuscript may turn out to be a bookmark. Or a potato.

How many words do I need for a potato?

4 thoughts on “There’s “off one’s rocker,” and then there’s “perched on the edge, clinging to the armrests”

  1. Don’t even think about the word ‘contract’. Don’t think. Just remember how much u love writing. Just go contour fave place literally and figuratively and start creating. Anything. In Anyway.: …mindmap….brainstorm..bubbles of thought
    Just put any ideas onto paper. Don’t sorry about anything. Remember….you ENJOY this thing called writing..which simply means getting your thoughts onto paper so others can enjoy it because unfortunately/fortunately we can’t see into each other’s brain. Jump in!! U got this!!

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