Writing always makes me think better, so I’m going to write this problem through and see if it helps. If this exercise is even slightly coherent when I’m done, I’ll post it.
I don’t know about other writers, but I go through a writing crisis every couple of months. What am I doing why am I doing this I hate writing writing hates me ahhhh die muse die. Or some such. That’s where I’ve been for the past week or so. I’ve been avoid my online writers’ group, I’ve been avoiding the novel from hell, I’ve been more-or-less avoiding people, I’ve been drinking too much—let’s face it, I’ve been wallowing.
I’m still unhappy about my writing life, but I’ve switched over from “depths-of-despair” mode to “let’s-fix-this-shit” mode. So. Trying to fix this shit. Here we go.
I feel stuck. I’ve been working on this novel for 2 years. I really do love it, the topic and the characters and words. It would feel like such failure to trunk it. I trunked the last novel, the YA fantasy that I’d poured 5 years of my life into. And that felt pretty bad. But this one was supposed to be better, I’d grown as a writer and a person, but the days and months just keep stretching on and I looked up one day and it was a year later and then it was two.
I’ve tried writing a few other things during that time, either also or instead. But this is the novel I want to be working on. This is the one I want to finish. Everything else just seems to drag me even farther from my goal.
So here are my thoughts.
1. I’m overthinking it. This novel has been swimming in my head for 2 years now, there’s just too much to handle. More than that, I’m trying to make it too perfect. It’s like, I’ve invested so much time and effort it really should come out like perfect. (my perfectionist-first-draft problems are a story for another time) So maybe if I could—somehow, possibly, perchance—just turn of the Evil Internal Editor (EIE) and just sit and write it out. Maybe even taking a few days off work and write straight through like 4 or 5 days. (when I go hardcore writer and just write non-stop I can be really productive.)
But do I want to do that?
2. I should write something else. Either for good, or as a break. But if I never finish anything, what’s the point? Can I even call myself a writer? But maybe I could try writing a short story? Something? Anything else?
3. Maybe I should just take a break entirely. Not write at all. I’ve kind of been wanting to go in a more critiquing direction with this blog, this would give me some time to catch up on reading so I’d be able to do that. And if I just decide not to write I wouldn’t feel pressured and guilty and maybe I could get my head in gear.
4. Maybe I’m more of a literary observer than a literary participant?
I find that thought depressing.
So I don’t know what I’m doing. That didn’t actually help much. I mean, it was nice to write my thinking down. I think I understand where I am (or am not) slightly better now. But still no idea where I’m going.
Supposedly people like the novel of doom and want me to finish it. Maybe I just should.
Okay, well, that’s not entirely coherent but someone might find the inner musings of a struggling writer interesting, so I’ll clean out some cursing and post anyway. There we go.
Also wtf allergies of doom. *sneeze wheeze*