I'm at the point in writing the new book where I suspect most people quit.
It is big now, and the end is within sight. I have just the last section, maybe a third of the novel, including the denouement. It is clear that I can finish it. It is within reach, which is some of the problem.
When you first start writing, you are filled with bright shining optimism and inspiration. It is this that drives you onward, the beautiful vision. It is similar to falling in love; at first everything is awesome, you're being careful with one another, you wear nice clothes go out to nice places. Then things get a little comfortable down the line, you stay in, watch movies, cuddle on the couch. Then after that you've been together a long time, you let out your farts unabashedly, you sit around in your sweat pants and play video games and yeah it's comfortable, familiar, but it is a far cry from the excitement and passionate fire of the beginning.
I bet it is at this point that people walk away. I've done it. I walked away from 45,000 words of what was to be my first novel because I heard the siren song of a new idea, a new project. Things were getting kinda stale. I dropped it and started the manuscript that would become Antiartists. I told myself that I'd be back, but I haven't touched it. It's worthwhile, I think, maybe I will revisit it. Maybe. But probably not.
I want to walk away from the new book. I'm struggling to remember what the whole point is. Why did I start this thing, why should I finish it? And what about that other idea, about the brothers and the road trip and the punk rock and the cancer? Shouldn't you do something about that? Maybe just start the outline, it really doesn't mean anything, you're just messing around, right? It's harmless, just a little touch of the keyboard here, a little punctuation there... But it does mean something, it's not harmless. If you fuck it all up, lose focus, there's no going back.
The big difference between writers and other people is that we write. The difference between successful writers and failed writers is primarily this: successful writers finish their shit. They finish it, even when the shine has worn off, even when it sucks, they finish. I want to be one of those people. I will be one of those people, which means I have to finish my shit too.
I'm not going to quit, but sometimes, I damn well want to.
I know people that have been married two, three, five times. Decent, good people that just couldn't face the shock that relationships take a lot of work, that it's going to suck sometimes, that the other is a person that farts and doesn't want to shave everyday, that in fact, the one that they are so enamored by is pretty much like themselves, not some magic panacea for loneliness.
It is, I admit, a commitment. It is a lot of work for no guarantee of reward. It is something that requires your care and attention and time, and often is isn't fun. I would be willing to bet that all writers at one time or another in the process consider abandoning their work, just walking away. It's just that the good ones don't go through with it.
Starting is easy; it's finishing that is the hard part. Sticking with it when the honeymoon is over, that's the trick.
Still (STILL!) Writing,
Reach me via the usual methods. Comment here if you wanna, or email me, or find me on Twitter @RDPullins
Things are happening with all this stuff. I'm interested to find how it all works out. Cheers.