Last night I tried to settle in and do some more writing on Shadow Academy, the Magic School for Monsters project that I'm working on. I'm torn, because I like the opening I have currently, and I like the things that happen after it, but it also feels like I'm getting distracted by them. Also, I know I have a bad tendency towards Kitchen Sink Syndrome -- throw in every cool idea that comes along! They won't clutter up the book until you can't even find your way back to the original plot! Surely not!
...So yeah, I kind of find myself looking at a choice: use a different opening, or press on and trim this later.
This is, admittedly, better than what happened with my last project, where I literally couldn't seem to find an opening that I liked well enough to continue on with. Kitchen Sink Syndrome, again: I had so many ideas for the project that any given opening closed off some ideas that I really liked, until finally the whole thing stalled.
So I sat down and tried to think about the Shadow Academy storyline, and whether to try a new opening that's closer to the action or continue on this intriguing little bit of wayside world-building, and... I couldn't muster any enthusiasm for either approach. Which is not a huge surprise; 2021 has been hugely stressful, I'm exhausted, and we'd just finished a very full day.
I would really, really, really have liked to get some writing done.
But in a fit of uncommon good sense, I decided not to force it. (I know there are writers and writing advice who say, "Push on, and clean it up during editing!" but that does not seem to work for me. The inevitable result of me trying to do that is crap writing followed by frustration and burnout.) Instead, I went back and looked at an old throw-away project that I was playing with a couple of years ago in an effort to write something that I wasn't deeply invested in and could possibly finish.
And it was more or less what I remembered. It's a fantasy story about a couple of princes who get roped into accompanying the daughter of the High King to a wilderness-lost temple so that she can renew her family's link to their patron god. I remember that at one point I got overtired and determined to Get Some Writing Done and then got frustrated with the project and gave up, but for the life of me I do not remember why. What I read back through last night is... fine. Nothing I couldn't pick back up. Enjoyable reading, even.
(I think, looking back at it, that I was trying to get it going on a regular schedule on Patreon so that I could finish setting that up, so it seems likely that the crap stuff that derailed me is all over there rather than in the document that I was looking at last night. I will not be going back to review any of that; it'll just derail me again.)
So I finished reading it, and added a couple of lines, and went to bed.
I'm so proud of me.