How to (Not) Stop Yourself from Dreaming Three Books Ahead

So I’ve finally gotten back into the grind which is the Third Werewolf Novel, pt. 2, and the trouble is threefold. (Not gonna stop and check whether this is even a word.)

Firstly, I’ve finally taken up the research for the grand finale, and I’ve discovered a whole bunch of (historically accurate) details I should use once I finally get to the revision point. Do I use them all, none at all, or what? Who’s to say which approach would be right for this novel?

Secondly, each hour I spend over the TWN—and there have been quite a few recently, indeed—I try not to think about the second novel I want to be writing instead, the sequel to my 2019 NaNoWriMo’s (as of yet unedited) Johnny’s Girls. I’m dying to write that novel—which is why I’m so paramount to finish off the werewolf one first. (While I was in college, I used to reward myself with a Castle episode for every lecture slideshow I went through for studying purposes. Being an adult is… weird. Like, do I get a chocolate bite for every 1k words? Or an ice cream for every chapter?)

Thirdly, the aforementioned research, combined with my everyday job (all-purpose librarian) recently reminded me that it’s been so long since I’ve read anything about one of my favourite parts of our local history, the Baroque era military frontier (see more: Vojna Krajina). And that got me dreaming about all the ways I could play in that setting once I finally choose the entry point (exact year and location) and the tone (extra queer or background queer).

The end result, you might’ve guessed it, was a whole damn clusterfuck of Write All the Things! with a decent serving of Write them NOW! on the side. And then the whole pandemic thing happened, and after the first two stories I apparently had in me, I just… stopped writing fiction. And just reading the beginning of this post again, while I was finishing it yesterday, was enough to take me straight back into the grind of all. books. all. the. time.

What I’m trying to say—yes, even with a considerable part of my brain currently taken up with the fact that I will soon be swimming in customers (in person) at my day job and wondering whether my face mask will be usable after hours and hours of talking into it, or if I should pack a few, just in case—there is absolutely nothing wrong with dreaming two, three, or ten novels ahead. One of the weirdest and most fun things about being a writer is the dreaming itself, and the fact that not many people—if any!—will get to write all of the stories they manage to dream up in their lifetime. (It’s one of the things non-writers apparently find weird about yes-writers. Well, blame it on the everworking brain.)

It’s hard to remember it, though, when there’s always something you should be doing, something else you should be writing—but the dreaming, I’m completely sure, is what makes us writers. If not, what else could it be, apart from, you know, writing?

So, dream on, and write on, and never let anyone make you feel like you don’t deserve the novels you want to write, now.

And the sky is the limit.


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