There is this crazy dissonance sometimes in my head. I am “blessed” to have three children with ADHD or ADD, a neurological condition that makes focus and completion of tasks difficult, and can often exhibit as impulsive behavior that doesn’t take into account consequences of one’s actions. The “if I do this, that will occur” portion of the thought pattern is lacking. And because ADHD/ADD are genetic, I have family members with the condition, and there is the very real possibility that at some level, I also have it.
Which I would love to use as an excuse for why I can’t seem to finish my novels. I flip and flop between projects, hyper-focusing for a few weeks until there is no forward progress, and move onto another project. It takes a very real effort to stay focused and work it through, but there are so many black holes that keep swallowing things up, I find myself struggling with this particular demon.
In the last 8 months, I’ve not finished anything, and have flopped between at least four different projects. My mildy paranormal contemporary romance, A Cabin in the Woods, has stalled fully, as I am still trying to figure out what to put where and how not to overuse the ghost of the grandfather. My contemporary romance, Choices of the Heart, has floundered as I look for way to make the heroine hate the hero until the big crisis brings him back (boy loses girl plot). My mainstream fiction piece, The Mountain Man, has stalled because I find myself faltering on building the protagonist into a villain while also making him a sympathetic character that the reader will want to see succeed. And Without a Net, the story set in the circus, suffers from too many characters and too much story. I’ve been taking an Exacto knife to it for the last two weeks, hoping to whittle this story into something manageable and readable.
I could never read two books at a time, much less four, but why do I keep trying to work on four novels at once?
Frustrating! But, I’m doing my best to apply myself. Right now, the circus novel is getting the best of my energy, and there is a great story there, a mostly finished story, without too many missing pieces. As an organized, project-management-trained person, and good at prioritization, I should tackle that one the hardest, as it has the most likelihood of being able to be finished quicker and more easily than other projects. As in, get the easiest projects out of the way first, so you can mark one off in the “win” column. Low-hanging fruit. Quick reward, little work.
I need someone to stand behind me and remind me to keep going and not go back to the others until I’ve finished this one. The angel on my shoulder isn’t quite doing her job anymore. She’s probably exhausted and has whiplash from my constant flopping around!
How do you do it? Any advice for me?
Fairest of the Faire
Schoolteacher Connie Meyers is suddenly a young widow, her husband killed in a horrific car accident. Heartbroken to find out he had gambled away everything they had, she moves to her sister-in-law’s Midwest home to rebuild her life. A trip to the local Renaissance Faire with her nieces leads to a summer job as a costumed storyteller.
Avowed bad boy and fair performer Gage Youngblood is infatuated with Connie at first sight. Despite his deliberately commitment-free life, and Connie’s don’t-touch-me attitude, he soon has her in his arms, realizing quickly she is also in his heart.
When she is threatened by her late husband’s bookie, he steps into the role of protector, his fate forever sealed with hers.
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