Finding the spark again after a long absence is hard. That pretty much goes for anything. Creativity, relationships, passions, and cooking. Give it up for a while and getting back on that horse and kicking up speed is not easy.
I was recently stumped on manuscript number...four. It started as a short story that got too long winded, funny how that happens, and I had to go back and make sure dots were connected and lines filled and I jumped on it and started writing. This was maybe...eight months ago. Since then, I've written ideas for a manuscript 6, 7, 8...I think I'm at ten right now.
Number 4 has stalled.
Stubborn as I am I didn't want to let it go. I have twenty chapters completed, about 43,000 words. I've rekindled the flame by letting a critter read it. He gave me sound advice for the direction of the manuscript which I have used. But still, I feel as if it's dead weight, bobbing in the sea of vast opportunities for other work that demand my attention. I guess I've known for a while that this one would have to be placed on a shelf for a little bit. I've known but didn't want to give up on my characters, to leave them in limbo.
But alas, I have to redirect my attention elsewhere. I have fallen in love with a new idea and decided to go there and see where it takes me. How do you know when it's ready to hang an idea, to shelf something you started?