My characters have turned their backs on me. In unison their feet scrape the asphalt in a tug of war between staying and going, as distance pushes and my desire pulls. I’m watching them walk away with lead rising in my legs. It will be in my knees’ soon, and no longer will I be able to chase them. The further they get, the more disfigured they become. These past friends, and past enemies are melting into ambiguity.
This is the mental image I have right now. My characters are escaping me and I cannot do anything about it. The characters that I am referring to, are the ones I’ve spent countless hours writing about in my (attempt at a) first novel. For those of you that have written fiction, and have been in a heavy flow of writing, you know that your characters are their own thinkers. I have been shocked many times at the decisions they make. To non-writers, that sentence makes me sound nuts! Certifiable even.
I’m not nuts. (Says all people who are nuts).
You write about a character in the beginning with a sense of who he/she is, but they become their own people. As the story develops and you get to know them more, they begin to react to situations as they would react and not how I think they might react. Or, worse yet, how I might react in that situation.
When I say the escape is happening, I mean that, I have been away from them for so long that they are losing their details. I don’t remember their quirks and habits, or their unique way of speaking to each other. I don’t remember their life fears, past traumas, or future desires. I am not remembering them hardly at all.
They have become strangers.
I’m “slumped-shoulders” frustrated, because I have let this blog kill my book progress. No more humming along at a feverish pace. I’ve completely stalled in spectacular fashion. How long has it been since I last wrote a word in my book? Oh… I don’t know…. Maybe since the first week of this blog.
I don’t regret it. Not yet at least. I might. I might hate that I started this blog, but I don’t know yet.
Here is why I don’t regret this blog:
- I’ve seen my writing improve from blog to blog.
- I’ve seen my viewership grow to consistently decent numbers compared to the beginning.
- I’ve moved people with a few pieces that have resonated, evident in their messages to me.
- I am learning about what people want to read about; redemption, love, brutally honest heart pieces.
- I’ve gained writing friends that I enjoy and respect.
- I’ve read a lot of bad writing on other blogs, which is encouraging to me.
- I wrote a short story and submitted it into a competition.
- My short story received great feedback from a few people that I really respect.
- I’ve released the last remnants of past demons by fully exposing them… which has been hard but freeing.
- I’ve learned a lot about what I like to write about, and what my expressive strengths (and weaknesses) are.
Here is why I might hate this blog:
- I’ve completely given up on my book for months now.
- Stopping this long makes me want to re-write the majority of the already written 270+ pages.
- I’m writing this right now, instead of my book.
- Growing an audience is tedious and time consuming… time I’d rather be spending on my book.
- I write 2-3 blogs for everyone you see, because 3-4 of them suck too bad to post. Yes, my math is correct if you think about the one that is posted sucking too.
- Taking a break from my book has allowed the 3 other major book ideas I want to write, to grow so big that my first book idea seems stupid.
This post is not some, here’s what sucks and here’s how I’m going to fix it, kind of post. This is not where I see the answers while reflecting on a mistake. I am lacking wisdom in this, because I am to close.
Do I shelve the book, and start a small/quicker book project?
Do I give up on the idea of writing a book, and focus on a blog?
Do I give up on the blog, only to have zero support and potential readers for a hypothetical book release?
Do I stop it all, and just go back to drawing and painting for my creative release?
The only thing that could solve this onslaught of unanswered questions, is solitude, which doesn’t really work considering I have a “real” job. Don’t quit your day job!
If there was a way, I would escape to a very small cabin in the woods with a laptop, no internet, and just F*cking write! Sorry for the language, old habits die hard and just the mere thought gets me jacked up. I want to write! I need to write! I miss writing, real writing and not this thought puke.
What would you do if something was killing your book by stealing your time?
I’d love your thoughts!