Thursday, February 4, 2010

Wanting It Bad

There is a lovely, inspiring post over at The Blood-Red Pencil today about how far the desire to write can carry you.

Very far, apparently, once you channel it.

This post didn't come at a great time for me - I was just talking to a friend last night about the fact that my desire to write is suffering at the moment. I'm blaming the fact that I'm dead busy, that my new place is still a bit chaotic and I feel guilty carving out writing time while the floor is still at least 50% debris (we are making progress on that, though). Writing is very far down the list at the moment, and I'm hoping that will pass.

But the last few months have been hard.

Missing my self-imposed deadline last year hit me harder than I wanted to admit at the time. It seems like a gross admission of failure (what would insert-dream-agent's-name-here think of me if they knew I had missed a self-imposed deadline? How will I deal with the realities of external deadlines, if and when I'm faced with them? Why must I be so crap? etc. etc.). But then, this is my first novel. I am nowhere near ready to query yet. What an agent may think of my behaviour now is about as relevant as what an agent may think of my degree. Yes, it's contributing to making me whatever type of writer I may become, but it's not going to be current by the time an agent is looking at me.

So I'm working quite hard at not beating myself up about this.

The other problem is that I am pretty bored of my novel at this point. I'm keen to start on another one.

When I started my current WIP, the goal I set for myself was to finish it, no matter what. I needed to prove to myself that I could finish a novel, that I had the staying power. I haven't allowed myself to start any other serious projects since I started this one. What would be the point, if I hadn't proven to myself that I could finish a novel? How many half-novels does one girl need?

I'm beginning to think that may have been a mistake. I think having a second project may have helped to keep the first one fresh. Unfortunately, it's too late to rectify it. If I start a new project now, I will abandon the old one. I've reached a critical level of boredom. All I can do is incorporate the lesson next time.

So the only solution is to bite the bullet and write faster and get through it. Then I can start on something new, and learn even more about how I handle projects.

I think I've proven that I have staying power though. I have it to a fault :p


  1. I just had several ideas pop in for novels about a week ago and I finally narrowed it down to the one I want to work on. I fear for the future when I am not so keen on my work, or I realize that I have more to revise then what I actually wrote, but I told myself to keep writing, put down what I want to accomplish. I have my outline, I have my story, I just need to write it. Unfortunately our day to day life can get in the way, and unless you have all the time to write in the world you do want to try and make time!

    Good Luck with the journey!

  2. Hi

    So awful when reality intrudes and the writing gets way down the list of priorities - but it's great that you've come up with solutions to keep the momentum of writing your novel. I think if it works for you why not? You tried one way so maybe now try another. So long as you keep the dream alive!

    Take care and GOOD LUCK!


  3. Hi Ellen:
    Don't beat yourself up. I went through a similar period a few weeks ago when I realized I had bitten off way more than I could chew. Bang on the head with a stupid stick, aack. But the deal is most writers get bored or stuck or super self doubting when they reach the mid-point of the book. I've always got LOADS of new, much better stories to write about mid point (or dreaded chapter 7-11).

    The trick is to push on through it, one bite at a time, and find what works for you to keep in front of the computer. Even if it is only one page, or one line a day, it counts. And often, during revision, this happens to me due to life as well. You will reach the end. Meanwhile, every time you get a brilliant idea, jot it down in a notebook or a new file on the computer. It'll maybe be your next book! And you will get faster. I promise.


  4. Thanks guys - it really is all about the journey, continuing and learning new things.

    Quite an uplifting thought since it's my birthday tomorrow :)

  5. Happy Birthday to you!!!!!

    Best wishes for a lovely day today.

    Take care



I love comments!