I try and stick to the list. Tick off what needs to be done in the hopes of getting to the fun project. It doesn't always work as the list just grows longer (having 2 pen names has only added to the list).
In the first half of the year I spend 4 month on revolving edits for 3 different books. I did no writing at all. By the time I emerged from the editing cave I was frazzled. I needed something fun, and the book that had been waiting burst forth. I started scribbling a few notes, knowing that I had to finish 2 other WIPs and get them to my critique partners because they needed to be turned in later in the year. But as I finished one (which came out in a rush--I think writing 200w/day while I was editing the other books really helped because I stayed in the story and my brain had time to plan the rest in great detail while I edited) I decided that I was going to give myself 4 weeks to write the fun thing. My very own novel in a month in June.
I took a week in May to plot and plan and research (and tidy up other bits that needed doing) then I went for it.
It was one of those books that was so easy to write. maybe because I'd been thinking about it for so long or maybe because my creativity was all coiled up like a spring and ready to release all that energy in the form of words. I don't know.
And it didn't last as the book I've just finished was the kind that hurts to even get 1000 words on the page.
What I have learned after 7 years as an author is that no one can tell which books were easy to write and which ones were hard. Some of my favorite books are the ones readers are meh about (I read an article about creators having no idea if their creations are good or bad, and I thought it was so very true).
The fun book is now on the editing pile for the second half of the year, along with the 2 others that I finished...the list just grew. But I already have an idea for my fun book, knowing full well that it will become work when I have to edit and submit it.
SHONA HUSK is the author of the Shadowlands, Blood and Silver, and the Face the Music series. You can find out more information about Shona at www.shonahusk.com or follow her on Twitter @ShonaHusk, Facebook www.facebook.com/shonahusk or join her newsletter: http://mad.ly/signups/119074/join