Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Suffering Means I Am A Real Writer, Right?

Writing is hard, and when it isn't bliss, it sucks a lot.
And the bliss is a depressingly low percentage.
So, I wrote the main chunk of my novel (the first 50,000 words) during NaNoWriMo, then took a break, then finished it (total of approx 75,000 words).  Since then I've been working on revising/editing, and halfway through I basically just got sick of it.  Two other ideas for new stories started blooming in the back of my mind, but I pushed them aside, determined to keep going on my  novel.
After suffering through trying to force myself to keep revising I have finally decided to move on to something else, for now.  I still like my novel and my characters and I feel weirdly like I am abandoning them, and I actually know what changes I want to make, it's just that I feel like I need to spend some time away from it.  I have completely lost perspective.
I feel:
  • guilty
  • like a failure for not following through to the end
  • lazy for stopping work
  • excited for the other ideas
  • confused
  • tense when I am not writing
  • happy when I am
  • hatred for myself for not writing more
  • proud of myself for writing at all

The two other ideas are only partially fleshed out in my mind, and I don't want to start work on either one of them quite yet.  When I wrote my novel I thought about it for months beforehand, setting up a fairly detailed outline and doing extensive character sketches.  I had the plot pretty much completely mapped out, and it worked well for me.  I don't want to start on either of the other two until I know more about what's supposed to happen and who the characters are.
So this past weekend, after not writing or revising or anything for two months and getting more and more stressed and freaked out every day, I finally just started writing the first thing that popped into my head.  It feels disorienting to be writing aimlessly, but wonderful to be writing.  I know a lot of writers write everything that way, but I find the idea of having things planned out very comforting.  I'm not even sure what this is going to be, but so far I am liking it a lot.  It's kind of fun to be surprised.