I've been working on one particular novel off and on for about four and a half years. It's given me more fits than any one novel should be allowed, but I'm delighted to say that I finished it last night. It's been e-mailed off to my second round readers, and once I get their feedback, I'll make the changes it needs before it's submitted.
I've been trying to analyze why this book was so hard to write. It did require a lot of research. It's also the longest book I've written so far, coming in at 89,044 words. I did cover some extremely difficult aspects of history. But I've researched and written difficult things before -- why was this one so hard?
Could it be that I've got another child that I didn't have while Nothing to Regret and Strength to Endure were being written? Very possible. It could also be that my children are working on harder subjects in our homeschool, and that I've started my own business in the meantime. But what I'm beginning to fear is that I'm burned out on research and need to take a break from it for a while.
And I think I can do that and remain productive. I've got two novels finished that I'd like to polish up a bit and get ready to submit. One is a contemporary romance/suspense/mystery called Faith Beyond Fear, and it will only take me about a month to get it where I want it. The other is a historical, based on the love letters my grandparents exchanged while they were courting, and is called Test of Time. I imagine I could have both of those ready to submit by Thanksgiving. I also have an idea for another contemporary novel and I've outlined it already, so I could be working on that.
But historical fiction will always be my first love. I feel most in my element when I'm writing it. Maybe by the end of this year, I'll be ready to dive back in. I just wish I didn't feel like so much of a failure when I contemplate taking a break. I'm just too compulsive, I think.