When I first started communicating with other writers, I came across something I had never considered - books you write but shove under your bed never to see the light of day again. (There's a name for it, but I can't remember what it is right now. Trunk book? Closet book? :shrug:)
Oh, I assumed there would be books I would never finish. (And there are. A bunch of them.) But I never dreamed there would be any book I wrote all the way to THE END that I would just give up on. Practice book? P'shaw.
If I loved it enough to write it all the way to THE END, I must've thought at some point that it was worth finishing. And if it's worth finishing, it's worth publishing. At least that's my thought.
Right now, I'm kind of between books. I can't muster the excitement to finish Early Grave yet. Or go back to Natural Causes. When I lie in bed at night thinking about my books, the old ones still bubble to the surface. "When will it be my turn?" they ask.
And while I always wanted to see these books being read by someone other than my family members, crit partners, etc., I still had the old idea that one should always put one's first books under the bed creeping around my head. It's taboo to resurrect them. It's just not done. It'll kill your career. :yawn:
With self-publishing, I can put any of my books out there. The market will buy them or they won't. If only ten people read them... Hell, if one person reads them and enjoys them, I will have served my purpose. "So," I asks myself, "what the hell am I holding back for?"
To that end, I went back to my first book. I love this book. Everyone who's read it loved it. It was the book that got me my most important contact* - both business and personal - and that relationship has been going strong for 12+ years. Why not go back through it, edit it so it matches my current level of writerly knowledge, and see what the market thinks of it?
Yes, I am resurrecting Fear Itself. I hope to have it publishable by the end of the year. It might fail miserably in the free market, but that's a chance I'm willing to take.
Right now, it's a behemoth at 137K words. (I thought it topped out at 147K, but I can't find that draft, so I'm working with the one I have. Hopefully, this draft isn't one of the ones I butchered for agent submission after someone told me the book was 'too long'.) I expect the word count to go down a little because I now know what words to cut to make it tighter. We'll see.
I wasn't going to tell anyone about this. I didn't want to run the risk of someone telling me I was crazy or trying to turn me away from this. But I think I'm probably strong enough now to withstand the naysayers. Hell, I probably am crazy. I might turn away from this on my own. Who knows? I at least want to try. In between working on Up Wish Creek to get it ready for launch next month and working on new words so I have other things to publish next year.
Do you have an unfinished project you've tucked away? What's holding you back?