So, yesterday, I was able to enjoy one of the best days a writer can have when I announced my new Aspen project, JIRNI. I love finally being able to talk about. I've done work in the fantasy genre before (most notably my time writing SOULFIRE), but this is something a little different.
Now, let's compare that with today - one of the more frustrating days for a writer (at least for this writer).
Great ideas don't come everyday. We'd love to think they grow on trees and we could collect them by the bushel, but they are hard to come by. Now, don't get wrong, ideas come all the time and many of them can BECOME great ideas, but its more rare for an idea to spark and immediately you know you have something special. Something you can really sink your teeth into, have fun, and (god forbid) achieve a level of success with.
I know what you are saying - where's the frustrating part, JT? This all sounds fine and dandy.
Well, here it comes...
After doing research for several months and actually starting to write the project, I stumbled upon another work that is virtually identical. There you have it - Aaaarrrrgh!
Initially when I came up with the idea, I did my due diligence. I checked around, asked people, googled, searched through libraries and bookstores and on Amazon and Wikipedia in order to see if the idea had been done before. In truth, there were a couple of projects in the same vein, but I still felt good about moving forward in developing this particular project.
Like I said, I actually started writing it. And I don't mean just a couple pages of a script or a chapter or two of a book. I mean, SUBSTANTIAL work.
Cut to this afternoon when I visited my local Barnes and Noble (which it turns out is closing down in a week - double bummer). Wandering through the aisles, I stumbled upon a certain book that caught my eye. My heart sank as the grabbed the copy from the shelf. The title was troublesome, and then I read the blurb on the back of the book. Yep, there it was. Almost exactly the same idea I had been working on.
It's so deflating and disheartening. I felt like I got punched in the stomach. It really is nauseating as I think about all the time and energy and work put into it. All which is now useless. In the days to come, perhaps I'll figure out a way to adjust the story, rework a few things, and make it something different that I can still pursue, but for right now the project is gone.
All I can do tomorrow is try to find something else to fill that empty space, where the story in question used to live and breath.
God, I hate days like today.