Knowing When to Walk Away

Yesterday was a big day for me. I had a nice chat with a friend. The first time we have spoken in a month, and it felt great to bounce around my writing thoughts with her.

The conversation also helped me realize something that I have actually known for some time, but refused to admit to myself.

The book I am currently writing is not going anywhere. It started as a short story and became a novel somewhere along the way, and totally lost track of the story.

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I have been writing daily, on the train to and sometimes from work. The words were flowing fine, but there was nothing behind them. They were meaningless, and I find myself staring at a 56,000 word novel that says and does nothing. I could try and salvage it, but I would actually need to dump the beginning and almost everything in between, to rescue the few scenes that actually fit together and read halfway decent.

I might do this at some point in time, but for now, it is just not worth it. I have no passion for the novel, and writing without passion is a fool’s errand.

I am taking a step back, looking at my ideas and I am going to pick one to write that I am actually passionate about.

The last novel I wrote, which is currently with my editor was great. It was fun to write, and not for one second did I doubt myself or the story. I didn’t think about anything other than the words and I had fun with it. The story is horrific, it is bizarre and will surely turn a few stomachs, but it is 100% me.

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It is all too easy for us to lose sight of what writing is all about. We can get caught up in the rush of sales, and in the rising properties of those around us. Staying true to your own writing self is the most important of all. If you don’t feel the story you are writing, neither will the readers.

I am not sure what my next novel will be. I have lots of ideas, but I am adrift as to which one I am going to move forward with. I have another novel that is about 20,000 words in, and I do like this one, but there is a heavy romance element to it so I should probably read some romance to get a feel for it. We will see how that works.

I have an anthology sub to finish up first, I got the edits back and really want to make this as sharp as possible. Then I will have edits on my novel, which I would love to have ready for the summer.

I might look for a few more anthology subs and try to pen a few short stories and get that good mojo back again. It is there, I can feel it, and I feel good. I just need to find the right story to bring it out.

Structure is key. I like to know what I am doing, and since I changed my job in January my schedule and structure has been turned upside down. I am getting to grips with the function and have had more and more responsibility passed my way. This is good, and what I asked for, but I need to find my routine within it.

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I am getting there, and once it is all settled, I know my writing will get back to where it should be. It is just a question of weathering the storm.

Well, this and my ‘L’ themed AtoZ Challenge post are the last of my whiny posts. I am in one of the best places I have ever been in, in all avenues of life, and so refuse to focus on the one small negative. Really, at the end of the day all I have is a story that didn’t work. I just let it go too long before calling it. Nothing serious, and nothing more than my own stubbornness coming back to haunt me.

Let’s end this with a question, because I don’t want to be negative. What is the longest you have gone on with something that you knew, deep down, was just not the right thing. Let’s try to keep it writing based people 😉

 

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9 thoughts on “Knowing When to Walk Away

    1. I think I need to become a better judge of when something is working or not. I carry too much hope in some projects, that many one day, if I keep on pushing, they will turn into some magic!

  1. Awesome post, man! I’m kinda in the same thing with the third Winter Creek novella. It’s goingto be a 95% rewrite so I’m setting it to the side for the time being and started on another. In the end, staying true to what we love and enjoy is what’s important. Good luck if you decide to go back into it. 🙂

  2. For me, probably about a month, in terms of a project staying reasonably true to it’s original form. But I have a nasty tendency to find the scraps hiding on the hard drive, months or even years later, and try to reconfigure them into something else that doesn’t make me want to vomit. Often with more than one “rinse and repeats” worked in for good measure. With that logic, my answer becomes 16 years… and I’m still trying to put the jigsaw puzzle of Hangman’s Coven into a form I can tolerate. XD

    1. 16 years is certainly a record in my book. I think I will be the same with a novel I have in my head. I have this grand idea, but cannot think of the motivation behind the character’s actions.

      I hope that one day Hangman’s Coven sees the light of day. I will certainly grab a copy.

      1. Well, thanks. I’ll let you know when it actually appears. XD And, being random and inserting my own psychosis into things, regarding your stalled novel lacking motivation… have you tried “talking” to your character about it? Asking them the whys, whos and wherefores? Sometimes it helps me…. good luck!

  3. I think I spent about 6 months on the novel that I finally abandoned last year, Alex. I refuse to give up on it completely, but now is not the time to force something that isn’t there. I will return to it at a later date and see what it needs…

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