Next week, I start writing the next novel. (Yes, this is a full time job.) It’s War Among the Crocodiles, the conclusion of The Shadow Wars trilogy, that started with The Raven and the Dancing Tiger and continued in The Guardian Hound.

This weekend, I’ll start looking at my notes for the series. Next week, I’ll spend some time re-reading those novels, as well as doing research. Like the other books, this novel has a historic base, and I need to get some of the facts into my head. I have a general idea of the history of the times I’ll be writing in–but there are some specifics I need to pick up as well.

However, as important as all of that is to the process, what’s more important is that I’ll be building excitement for the project again.

As a writer, I need to be passionately involved with whatever I’m writing. From this post about writing quickly you’ll note that one third of that triangle involves passion, excitement. For me, that’s vital. I must be passionate about what I’m writing. I must love it, think that it’s the coolest thing evah, fiercely want to share my vision with the world.

Otherwise, what’s the point?

When I find myself losing passion, I always stop and look at why. Is it because I’m writing the wrong thing? (This happens the most frequently.) Is it because I need to go do more research? (Occasionally this is the case.) Or am I actually tired/sick/burned out? (This happens as well, though in recent years, because I’ve gotten so much better, it’s rare as opposed to often.)

I’ve given myself more time to write this novel, which honestly, going into the project, is a relief. I will still drive myself to succeed, to complete this novel quickly, because that’s just me. But that I have some breathing room to think things through, to do research, to plot and plan…it feels like heaven.

I know I could probably write this novel more quickly than I’m planning. However, taking some extra time doesn’t make me lazy. Instead, it insures that I’ll also be able to write the next novel. And the next. And the next. And that I’ll be able to keep that passionate involvement with each and every work.

Because in the end, that’s still the most vital thing, that get my butt into the chair, fingers on the keyboard.