The best way I have found to deal with writer’s block is to write something else. I began the planning process for Delusions of Grandeur, my still-in-progress novel, to give my mind a break from the thesis I was getting toward finishing in late 2012. In turn, when I was struggling to figure out the structure for the third act of Delusions (which is mostly now finished) earlier this year, I turned back to the thesis, which I had always intended to adapt for publication down the track.
And now it’s — I think — ready. Having spent years close to the material, though, I’m probably the worst judge of whether it makes sense as a text for non-academics, so I’m going to send it off to an editor friend for detailed feedback and suggestions before I try to sell it. Of course, my timing could not have been worse; the editor friend in question had her first child last week, so it may be some time before she’ll be able to have a look at it.
In the meantime, while the text is complete as it stands, I am considering adding a few more chapters to it. I basically had to lop off the last third of the project very early in the process in order to keep it to a manageable size for an MA. That didn’t mean removing a third of the text; that last third was never written, and much of the research I would have had to undertake for it was never done. But the things I have learned since then (including a number of things I’ve read as research for the novel) make me much more confident of my ability to undertake the project anew.
I could publish the text as it stands and write a sequel, or a much-expanded second edition; or I could put it aside to finish my original project and publish the whole thing in one go. Which of these ways to go will be one of the main questions I’ll be asking the editor. But there may be a book coming out soon after all, even if the novel won’t be finished until next year.
And in the midst of all this, I’ve been coming up with ideas for what to write when Delusions is finally finished. Stay tooned.