A Novel’s Mid-Life Crisis

Sometimes I feel like I’m obligated to keep writing on even if what I have of a novel suck. 

I haven’t written a proper blog post that isn’t a reblog or a new chapter here in a while now. In fact, I probably haven’t done that in over three months. It’s not a surprise, really, about why. It’s been a really busy time for me, and I’m a lazy person to begin with, and writing is a pretty darn hard and brain-tasking process that I don’t feel like going through all that often. That’s a bit of an irony, because I like describing myself as a hobbyist writer, but the hard cold truth is that writing is hard.

You may also have noticed that I haven’t written any new chapters to Uncharted Stars in some time also. Instead, I’ve been mostly publishing short stories over at The Forum. In fact, Uncharted Stars hasn’t seen much real progress since school has started, and I thought I’d at least take some time to talk about that on here.

Recently I haven’t been feeling very inspired to continue writing Uncharted Stars. Now, this is something that actually happens to me every time I write a new novel– it happened with my last novel (Revolution), and it’s happening now again. I’ve seen a few diagrams before of a project’s life and if I remember correctly, it goes something like this. First, you have a feeling like

oh my god it’s the best idea ever

and after a while you’re starting to feel like

this is actually some pretty hard work

afterwards you start to know

damnit this sucks

and finally you feel

I’ll just finish this off to get it over with

I think that right now I’m in the ‘Damnit this sucks’ stage. I mean, Uncharted Stars wasn’t very well planned. It was much more well planned than what I did for the novel before, but it still wasn’t well planned. I just assumed that I could keep things interesting, and I couldn’t. I also assumed that I was a more talented writer than I actually am (yeah, crying so hard nowwww~)

Needless to say, I’ve more or less come to the realization that I might need to hit the ‘Backspace’ button and go back and rewrite a couple of chapters, or perhaps even restructure the story. In fact, this is probably something that most writers will do. But here’s another problem I have. Actually, I have two more problems, and I’ll mention one at a time. The first one is 1) I’m an extremely lazy person and when I’m confronted with the reality that I’m going to have to rewrite thousands of words, that sorta puts me off.

The second problem is a little less based on my personality. It’s my 2) unwillingness to go back now that some of the work is already published on here. If I’m a writer and I don’t publish anything on here, then I guess I would be a little more willing. But the problem though is that I’ve already published every chapter I’ve written until now on here, and while the size of my readership is (understandably) extremely tiny and will understand every decision I choose to make regarding how I write my novel, I don’t want to go back and take down/republish chapters.

So that’s probably the dilemma of publishing a works-in-progress novel chapter by chapter as you progress through your writing. It makes the writer unwilling to go back and rewrite, but also makes it hard for him to go forward. Now, this is probably why I’m calling this my novel’s mid-life crisis. I’m really having the feeling like all of the stuff I’ve written really is crappy and the plot is horrible and the characters aren’t developed and this is having so many ‘ands’  which also illustrates what a crappy writer I really am once I’m writing an informal blog post and this is also a run-on sentence which is another reason why I do suck. There’s also the problems with setting and scene and where I should take the story further. But then again, I’m also pretty proud of some of the things I’ve managed to do so far and I don’t want all of it to go to waste.

A novel’s mid-life crisis, mostly.

I’ll need more time to think and decide about what to do. Obviously I could just try to push ahead- but then, I saw what happened to my last novel when I decided to push ahead without fixing the structure midway and it came out unbelievably crappy. I don’t exactly want Uncharted Stars to turn out unbelievably crappy either.

As a side note, I’d like to thank everyone who’s been giving me positive comments on my last two short stories, Flood Patrol and Dividing the Spoils. I’ve actually published a new Short Stories page right here on this blog. Thanks everyone! Sometimes when I’m feeling really uninspired, I just get a new comment saying how much someone enjoyed something I wrote and I guess that’s what I really enjoy sometimes- not just the actual writing of the words but also the fact that I’m actually being read (sometimes) and someone out there actually enjoys what I write.

Thanks for reading.

-Ken

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