I see the phrase “The Book of My Heart” used a ton in the writing community. As authors, we probably all have one: that one special book that we have more love for than the rest.
Maybe it’s a protagonist we love, an antagonist we love to hate, or a swoon-worthy love interest. Or maybe it’s the fact that the MS is high concept, unique, and contains your best turn of phrase ever. Whatever it is, it’s got that something special.
For a while I was having a tough time moving on from the Book of My Heart.
I knew I had to let it go and move on to something bright and shiny, but every time I started that new something it was halfhearted. I kept stopping, and toying with the idea of doing yet another revision on that first book. Even brainstorming on a basic, simple IDEA for something brand new was making me miserable.
Every time I tried to work on it, I felt like I was giving up on The Book of My Heart. I would look back on how long it took me to learn all the rules of writing a novel so I could effectively break those rules; how long it took to weave a unique plot, and then string together themes, character development, tension, conflict, and I would FREAK OUT. How could I ever do this again? It was SO HARD the first time around. I knew I had to try though. Life is short, and I’m a writer after all. What good is my dream if I’m not actively working toward it?
But working on something new always just felt weird. Then something else happened: I started to feel guilty for not even trying with these new characters and this new story. It got to the point where I was altogether dreading sitting down to work on the new project.
But you know what? With time and patience, I’m falling in love with my new MS! I’m well into it now, and I’m happy. I like my plot. I like my characters. It’s starting to flow. I’m falling asleep with ideas popping up in my brain, forcing me to get up and jot them down, and I wake up every day excited to work on it. Now when I pull up my Word Doc, I realize it’s becoming the second Book of My Heart.
This is a different MS and THAT’S OKAY. It SHOULD be different.
So maybe I’ll try and make ALL of my books mean this much to me. After all, writing them is hard, so falling in love with them shouldn’t be.
Do you have that one special Book of Your Heart? Or do you love all your book babies equally??