Some days I like to write mystery; other days I like to write suspense. Aren’t they the same, you ask? No. Not at all. My cozy mysteries are much different than my stand-alone suspense novels in tone and theme as well as tempo.
For me, changing it up keeps my writing fresh. However, if I find I’m uninspired by what I’m writing, I move on to another project. On certain days, I’ll write the first page of something brand new to see if I can find the voice. On other days, I might write a two-page short story or a blog or an article. Or I’ll do a live chat on Facebook looking for inspiration from my fans.
Writing is like exercise. If you do the same exercise every day, your body gets used to the movements and it doesn’t tone. Walk, walk, walk. Boring. Walk, ride, swim, golf, yoga, pilates, run on the beach. Now that sounds like more “fun.”
Oh, sure, when I’m near a deadline, I can press myself to stick with only one project. I will read it and tweak. Read it again and tweak some more. Check for all the words that I’ve repeated—I have a list of over 100 words to search for. Tweak some more. Read it again—aloud. If it’s ready, turn it in.
But when I’m in the muddy middle—the part of a book where I hope the reader will turn the pages fast—I find I can get bogged down. So I pace. I exercise. I bake. I sing. If those activities don’t energize me, I write something else. As a last resort, I slam doors (not too loudly; don’t want to scare my dog Sparky).
When I come back to my material with fresh eyes and enthusiasm for the project, I feel invigorated and ready to rock and roll…or write.
Do you ever feel you need a jumpstart or a change of pace?
About the Author: Daryl Wood Gerber
Agatha Award-winning Daryl Wood Gerber writes the brand new French Bistro Mysteries as well as the nationally bestselling Cookbook Nook Mysteries. As Avery Aames, she pens the popular Cheese Shop Mysteries.
A Deadly Êclair, the first French Bistro Mystery, comes out November 2017.
Daryl also writes stand-alone suspense: Day of Secrets and Girl on the Run. Fun tidbit: as an actress, Daryl appeared in “Murder, She Wrote.” She loves to cook, and she has a frisky Goldendoodle named Sparky who keeps her in line!