Writing is Hard
After writing several cringe-worthy “books” that all seemed destined for publication at the time of writing, I realize that I didn’t even have the requisite skills or knowledge to write a damn book. The first book I wrote lacked a basic narrative arc. It was a series of loosely related rants that were packed together though a theme and I called it a book when it was a slosh of garbage that happened to be in the same heap. The second book was a “how to write a college admissions essay” book, so that doesn’t count as a novel for sure. Was it a book? Amateur for sure. In the third book, I had the narrative arc, plotted the book properly, and thought about the characters, point of view, etc., but when I got to the second half of the book it came to a crashing ending because I got tired and was not passionate at all about that particular part of the book (describing traveling experiences). I didn’t know that prior to writing.
Writing, at its best and most optimal, reveals some very intimate and revealing workings of our psyche that may even be unbeknownst to us. A novel even more so. But in order to write a novel, one needs:
Without these 5 key components, it is almost excruciating to create a novel, even if your writing skills are amazing.
In the current novel that I am working on, I planned it, outlined it, thought about the characters, built a world, considered and reconsidered how to connect the plot points, thought about the ending, etc. etc., and then let it soak for a weekend while I watched an entire course on creative writing on Youtube, came back and started writing it, and after 4,000 words of initial fluidity, I’ve halted once again. I finally got most of it right, and I don’t want to mess this up. Already, at this point, I can see that it is going to be a short story, with limited characters, and will reach between 15,000–20,000 words. All the plot points can be connected, I just have to write them. But there’s still something missing. I don’t think it’s writer’s block. I know what it is!
My personality is such that I like to jump around a lot. I read three or four books simultaneously, and I try to do so with my writing. Therefore, I write different sections of the book simultaneously (I wonder how that’s going to work out), and I work in blog posts and other forms of writing and I read while I let the book marinate. I get bored of one long cohesive thing usually. Also, right when I get tired of writing, I cap it with an ending. Stop! I told myself. Just because you’re tired doesn’t mean you have to end it. Just pause, and let it sit there, and then continue. I did this and it has improved the story significantly, but sometimes when it’s time for a section to end, it’s time for a section to end.
I wish I could stop this mentality of having to finish everything in one day. I’ll get nowhere that way. Patience and the long game, I gotta remember that. Can’t have it all at once. That’s just not my style.
Meanwhile, read read read! Soak it all in and one day, maybe, just maybe, you’ll turn it into prose. For now, just keep practicing, amateur.