mrdawdleAs 2015 looms ahead, I’m thinking about what a great year it has been for my writing career.  I had 11 nonfiction and 3 fiction books published. I’ve got 7 more nonfiction and 3 fiction due out next year. I’ve kept as busy as I wanted to be and have loved the research, the writing, and working with a variety of editors and publishers. It has been thrilling to see great covers and design in the finished products and I am excited (and always a little apprehensive) to get my first peeks as the new books come together. So, how to decide what to write next? Sure, I’ve got some work to do on books I’ve sold, but that is editing and I am eager to start the year with something new. For me, its always a challenge to narrow down a project. Nonfiction? There is a big demand now for good nonfiction and I can think of a dozen subjects I’d love to research. History, science, biography, geography? Which would sell? Which would be most interesting to write? Can I picture kids just loving this book? Should I propose a series or a single title? Or, maybe go with fiction. I’ve got an historical fiction I’ve toyed with. I’ve had trouble focusing the story, but maybe now is the time to really put the effort into it. A mystery or ghost story might be fun. I’ve got a character visiting me more and more often, bugging me to put him in an adventure. Maybe, one night he wakes up and … Commitment is hard. I know the soul-wrenching it takes to get that first draft of a fictional story. I know the hours of research it takes to write a good nonfiction, plus the bending and shaping it takes to make that research into the story I want to tell. And, that just gets a first draft. There is the editing, editing, the dreaded time-comsuming heartbreaking spirit crushing selling, then more editing. Whatever I choose will be sitting on my desk a long time. No more Ms. Dawdle! The commitment must be made. The first words typed. The file saved. The blank pages faced each morning. The uncertainty, the fear this can’t be done, ignored. The story will grow and change and at some point I will set it free. It’s what I do.

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