Usually, during Insecure Writers Support Group day I tend to try to give advice or hope, to tell my fellow writers that we’ve got to keep moving forward, keep writing, always writing. And none of that is any less true this month, but I feel like going in a bit of a different direction this time around. I feel like whining (just a little, I promise).
If you read my “goals in review” post earlier this week you’ll know that my writing goal didn’t work out all that badly for January. I wrote an average of over 600 words per day, which is pretty damn acceptable, especially considering my work situation and the fact that I spent a decent chunk of the month sick as a dog. However, I was still quite disappointed in my performance for January, and the reason is that I never once touched my actual novel. No, none of those words I wrote had anything to do with an actual manuscript of any kind.
I’m disappointed in myself for a number of reasons, but the big problem here, I believe, is that I’ve grown a little disenchanted with my novel.
If you don’t know, what I’ve been (not) working on is a four-part young adult fantasy series. I am approximately 90% finished with the first draft of the first book and have been there for something like five months now. I desperately want to get this thing finished, to pass it off onto my beta-reader and move on to book two, but somehow I just can’t seem to force myself to do it. I tell myself, day after day, “Sit down and finish that damn story”, but it never happens. There’s always an excuse, something else to do, something else to focus on…or I just curl up in bed and refuse to move. That’s actually probably the most common result.
It’s not that I no longer want to write the story…in fact, technically I’ve been writing this story for years, although it’s only recently that I decided to make it a short series. The real problem, I think, is the scope. “Nowhere to Hide” took almost three years, all total, to go from idea to available-for-sale. At that same rate of accomplishment, my current project won’t be finished until approximately 2028. That’s not to say that I couldn’t write these books faster, but there’s only so fast you can go without sacrificing quality, especially when you have a demanding day job and other projects that you’re not willing to give up. And so I imagine that my daughter will be graduating high school before I have the entire series done, and thinking about that exhausts me. Thus, I don’t write, and it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy because I’m wasting even more time and pushing the end-game further back.
Even I can see that this is extremely stupid. And yet, here we are.
So I guess, what I’m looking for here is a bit of commiseration from my fellow writers. What do you do when you become disenchanted with your story, but you still do actually want to complete it? Any tips for me? I could definitely use them right now because I’ll be super-frustrated with myself if I go an entire month again without contributing anything to this project. >.<