Often times in life, the events outside of our bubbles intrude on our journeys to reach set goals. Since finishing my last book, I'm struggling to put together a new project that excites me enough to turn into a full novel. I've come up with a few ideas, but when it comes down to outlining a plot, the overall structure feels weak. The protagonist isn't the type of character who would get involved in the conflict I've set up. The antagonist(s) isn't fleshed out enough to be more than a bad guy who does bad things because that's what bad guys do.
The reasons behind this are plentiful, and just yesterday I got news that an event that I've been expecting for eight years is going to happen in the next few weeks. And this isn't a good event. In fact, it's the type of event that makes me question everything I ever thought about certain people in my life. I understand that this is vague, but I'm not here to talk trash about anyone.
I'm here to make a point: even though motivation is lacking and inspiration is less than adequate for my next novel, I'm still working. I'm laboring through the distractions, fleshing out short stories and designing writing workshops. I'm critiquing other peoples' writing, and I'm taking this time to be with my wife.
At the end of the day, it's vital to push forward, no matter what obstacles stand in our way. I want to be a professional writer, and that means I need to write. No matter what. And while I'd prefer to work on the sequel to the novel I'm querying, I know that's not really a valuable use of my time until I have a contract to do so.
For now, that means I'll write short stories, create characters and worlds, and hope that something sparks to life in my extremely distracted mind that will turn into a project I can turn into a full-length novel.