What to do when you don’t want to write *that* book
Last week I mentioned how I wrote down my writing goals for this year. My goals so far consist of:
- Earning at least £500 from freelancing
- Submitting a new Arts Council submission for funding (make sure you check out this post to see if I’m successful this time around!)
- FINALLY finish the first draft of my fantasy novel
- Finish editing two of my short stories and either submit them for publication or self-publish
As a stretch goal, I also have down that I’d like completely finish my collection of short horror stories. Will I actually achieve this? At this point in the year, who knows – I’m still in the process of setting up my own business, and I want to achieve my other goals first. I’ll make a mental note to revisit this stretch goal in the summer and see if it’ll still be possible.
You may have noticed that the sequel to Synthetica isn’t on there and I haven’t had any updates on this WIP since I started this blog. There’s a reason for that – I just feel done with this entire series.
Here’s the thing – when I wrote Synthetica way back in 2015, although I enjoyed writing it and enjoyed the plotting the story and fleshing out the characters, I knew deep down that YA sci-fi wasn’t a genre I wanted to stay in. I was basically doing it because it was popular at the time and I thought if everyone else could do it, then I could too. I was too scared to admit that I wanted to fantasy and I hadn’t yet caught onto my love of horror.
While doing some general Dropbox housekeeping, I had a look through all my notes for the next book in the series over the Christmas break and I was shocked to discover that not only do I have a completed detailed synopsis from 2015, but I also have ANOTHER half-finished detailed synopsis from 2017! Once I thought about it, I think I realised that the 2015 version wasn’t the route I wanted to go down so I attempted to rewrite it before apparently abandoning it completely.
And here, I think, lies my dilemma. I am fantastic at starting projects and having all the enthusiasm in the world for a book or business idea or general life project at the beginning – I am absolutely terrible at seeing them through to the end. Especially if I feel like I’ve ‘inherited’ a project from someone else – I hate untangling things and trying to sort out mess, especially if it looks like there won’t be an easy solution. As it’s been so long, I’ve essentially now inherited this series from my 25-year-old self, which doesn’t exactly fill me with joy. The writer I was back then isn’t the writer I am now, and in another five years, I’ll have evolved even more. Change is a good thing! I can’t wait to see what I’ll have dreamt up of in five years’ time! But having to pick up a project from five year ago? Blergh.
But that’s one of the drawbacks to wanting to write for a living. When the going gets tough, authors who are either on a deadline or who are being paid by a publisher to write something, don’t have the luxury of picking and choosing both a) what to write and b) when to write it. So I think therein lies my answer – I’m gonna have to grit my teeth and see this thing through. Perhaps then I’ll also finally stop feeling the guilt I have for once again starting something and not finishing it. And any potential publishers or agents out there who want to take a look at my work after I start submitting my fantasy novel will know that I have the grit and determination to see a series through to the end.
I don’t have any ideas at the moment for the sequel will look like, or if it’ll continue as a trilogy or if I can somehow slim it down into a duology to save myself some time. But I think perhaps – whatever format I end up choosing – this is another goal to add this this year’s list; and not a stretch goal either but a ‘proper’ one.
So here ya go, now I’m completely committed:
Have you ever had any writing projects you weren’t enthusiastic about anymore? How did you find your passion for the project again?