Do you, as a writer, get really excited about a project, talk about it, research it, plan it, only for it to fizzle out after the first 5,000 or so words? I do this a lot. Not on purpose, it’s just that I see the story as a picture in my head and part-way through, it doesn’t seem that interesting anymore. If I’m not excited about writing it, why would anyone be excited to read about it.
I tweeted this and got only the one response; finish the story or you’ll never finish anything. The guy obviously didn’t know that I have finished four other books and that they are sitting nicely on Amazon. They’re not rocking the world, but they are complete, and I must admit that I am jolly proud to have written all of them. Ok, I have a co-writer on one of them, so I’ve written three on my own. All of them have been written, re-written, edited and re-edited. And, they have all been put to one side at some point or another because I couldn’t see the way forward with them.
So, now I’m back in the old ‘what the heck to write’ situation and coming up with amazing ideas once a week and putting them to one side a few days later when the fizz goes out of them. At times, one worries if there will every be another one written. I’ve had these worries in between every story I’ve written and there has always been another one that gets completed, but the thought is always there. Niggling in the back of your head. What if this is it? What if I can’t write another one.
When I finished Intervention, my first full size book, I worried about it too. When, after that, I finished The Waiter’s Game, I was on top of the world because I thought that I’d proven to myself that I could write more than just the one book. And then, there is was again, the nagging feeling of failure because I couldn’t seem to settle on anything.
That year, when every day I didn’t write felt like failure, I decided to to do Nanowrimo for the first time. This was in 2014 and I’d wanted to try it for ages, but every year I kept on missing it. I told everyone that I was doing it so failure was not an option. I did it. I wrote my first ‘slice of life’ historical fiction. It was, like my first book, set in Spain during the civil war, and I interspersed it with modern day Spain to show how the war was still affecting the lives of younger generations. The fact that I did my back in on the 30th October and couldn’t move very much for the following two weeks probably helped me to finish the challenge. The joy of completing this challenge is just the best. You feel as though you can do anything.
I have since completed two more NaNoWriMos, but only finished one story. As much as I love and hate WriMo, because it’s really hard and scary work, I’m not doing it this year. Instead I’m sitting here writing this blog and wondering if I’ll every complete another book. I can’t even imagine my life without writing. I just need to find the right story to write, because when you do, there is nothing quite like tapping away at your keyboard and watching your characters come to life.