You know how, in baseball, batters sometimes wind up in a slump when they're constantly swinging for home runs? And how the best advice they're given is to just try to hit the ball instead of trying to get it over the fence?
I've been swinging for the fences.
Some of you know I'm pretty obsessed with television. It was my major in college and, for awhile, it's where I thought I'd work after graduation. I watch a lot of it, and it's a huge influence on my writing. Except right now I think it's negatively influencing me.
I've been watching The Newsroom every Sunday. As in, I don't miss it, and I usually watch it two or three more times throughout the week. If you haven't seen it, it's a show by the creator of The West Wing that goes behind-the-scenes of a cable news show. It's clever, idealistic, a bit full of itself, and all around wonderful.
But it also has the effect of making me want to go change the world. The characters in this show do. Every day. And what am I doing? As much as I love Capitoline Hill and as proud as I am of it, it's unlikely to be a life-altering book for most readers. I want to change lives.
So I've plotted out a handful of new books recently with the intention of making them epic. I'm assuming I can't possibly be the only one who's done this, so some of you know that when you set out with "epic" in mind, you're almost guaranteed to fall short. I can't imagine J.K. Rowling or Suzanne Collins thought, "I'm going to change the world," when they wrote Harry Potter or The Hunger Games. They thought, "Just make contact with the ball."
I need to refocus on the basics, but how do you balance desires like this with reality? How do you shove aside the "change the world" mentality? I keep falling behind on my word count and starting new stories because nothing ever seems to be good enough to keep writing. I also think I might be making myself a little nuts. So, if you've been in this position before, what advice do you have? Or, you know, if you have an epic idea for me to write, that'd be cool too.
And on an unrelated note: I spent a lot of time talking to my 15-year-old neighbor yesterday. She's not a big reader, but she seems to be open to the idea of trying some books, partly because she has to read one for summer reading and partly because I've been bugging her about it since she was in elementary school. So we're going to take a trip to Barnes & Noble in the next few weeks, and I'd like to have some suggestions for her.
Basically, she likes contemporary YA romances. You know, boy meets girl, boy falls for girl, some conflict ensues, boy and girl live happily ever after. If there's something about a sweet 16 in there more's the better. For a reference, Catching Jordan by Miranda Kenneally and Knee Deep by Jolene Perry both got "maybe"s. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.
And last but not least! Kyra Lennon's book Game On is for sale on Amazon! You should go buy it!