While writing the first chapter, I started thinking of my previous story. I’ve grown so attached to the characters, the voices, and the world I built. I found it difficult to separate the two. Whenever I wrote dialogue for a new character, I would think, “That’s something so-and-so would say.” Or god forbid you have to think of a character name and it turns out you already used that name. There’s that whole getting-to-know-you phase that takes place and you find yourself longing for that warm blanket of familiarity that you once had. It didn’t seem awkward or forced back then, so why is it so weird now?
As a writer, my brain runs on eight cylinders, and I’m always moving forward with ideas and inspiration. Artistically speaking, I was never meant to stay in one place, to have only one true love of my life, to experience one adventure, but MANY. Some better than others. But letting go takes its toll on me, especially when the story ends on bad terms and without resolution.
Call me a sap, but I get very emotional with my work; a lot of myself are in each story. The same goes with dating. While seeing a new person, especially in the beginning, you start recalling things the ex did or said, little nuances of their nature.
With that said, it’s good to move on. You have to, especially if things don’t work out. But don’t rush the process of getting over stuff. Normally, when people break up they immediately jump into another relationship. I personally think this is unhealthy, but hey, to each its own. This doesn’t apply to everyone. I just feel that time heals all wounds, and distance provides perspective. Allow for both before moving on.
So I recommend a serious writing detox between each project. Go on vacation, have and adventure, go rob a bank, feed a third-world country, something to take your mind off the old. Read a ton of books, at least six to recalibrate your thought process. Reading also supplies rhetorical nuts and bolts to add to your writing tool box.
My point is this, writing, no matter how turbulent, is a relationship. You spent month sometimes years on one idea, watched it grow, molded these characters out of thin air, and then at some point you have to leave them. Maybe in a few years after I write a whole slew of books, I won’t feel so attached, but honestly, I hope I don’t. Because if I stop feeling, it’s no longer genuine, and that bittersweet affair called writing would lose its passion.