I don’t know how to start a blog post sometimes when I have something to discuss, it often leads me rambling on a little while before getting to the actual point. So, yeah I haven’t changed and you might need to stick it out until i get to it. Though i assure you, i am getting better.
I started to take my writing seriously this year, and when i say seriously, i mean i want to finally write a novel that will actually be published. My first idea was a comedy romantic novella ‘Give me back my flowers’ which funnily, I have full intention of writing so don’t think for a second i am a ‘say things but doesn’t do it’ kinda gal – It just actually takes me a lot longer to FINISH stuff. When i realised i didn’t quite feel ready for that story to come out, as i changed my mind so often (which is the complete norm as a writer) I then had another novel idea – Alena. I do have an un-edited chapter of that novel on my blog somewhere and a lot of that story has changed since i posted that. Alena has a lot of raw feelings, it’s a story close to home, it came at a time where i was severely depressed and that’s pretty much where Alena’s story manifested, a dark story but happy ending. It gave me a lot of anxiety thinking about writing Alena because i am a perfectionist at heart and things needed to be a certain way or happen at the right time – Then i dreamt my current novel, which is in first draft stages, The World We See. This story idea got me out of my depressive slump and excited me, it lit a fire in me that i had not felt for such a long time with my writing. I would often get excited about writing or when a story came around but the fire would quickly fizzle out, this didn’t. I was even more serious about writing, even more, serious about this story and the urgency to tell it. So Alena’s notepad of plotting and brainstorming fell back into my drawer, and i bought a new one for this new exciting story.
What excited me the most about it was that i loved this kind of sci-fi shit with corruption, secrets and mystery. It was me! And if you knew me, you would know how much i LOVE conspiracies, corruption, history, thrillers, all that. After plotting, because the writing community or should i say ALOT of published author’s on YT tell you its THE ONLY WAY TO WRITE A BOOK. I was set on my way’s of starting the first draft of the world we see.
What they don’t tell you about writing is, that it’s hard. But i knew that anyway, that comment is for anyone who is thinking about writing a novel. It’s hard, it can be thrilling but soul-crushing. You will spend hours writing shit, and hours writing good shit. You will feel disappointed when you read back and realise ALOT OF IT IS SHIT – Because that’s what first drafts are, but a determination to get it right, to make it perfect. My novel was supposed to be first person POV, then i hit a wall with it. I hated the whole damn thing, i was sad, angry, and really trying to understand why i went with what everyone else was telling me rather than what I WANTED. So, i got depressed again, but with my writing. I didn’t touch it for a while and didn’t write a damn thing. Until i realised that people were wrong to tell you that you had to follow the rules. Creativity isn’t about following rules, tips and tricks nor is it about having to take advice from published authors because.. well they are published authors. What you can do is listen to them and find out the shit that works for you – Which for a long time, i had written for me, i wrote the way i wanted to, and i am not sure why i changed to try and fit in with the community i so desperately want to fit in to.
I decided to start my first draft again, i re-outlined my outline to the way it should be for ME and my STYLE. I am not a avid plotter nor have i ever outlined, so when i did it the first time (again following stupid advice) I was bored of my story, because i knew everything that was going to happened. So i re-did it. I started my first draft again, which a huge change in POV – Third person. This allowed me to integrate not so important characters to now play a huge role in my story, i felt free. I was writing for me, i was writing in my style, i was writing because i wanted to. I don’t listen to amateur writers on social media with medicore published books or one/none published books that offer advice and courses for £1,000’s of your hard earned cash. Because, all the shit that may work for them doesn’t work for me – All the advice they give is text book and Googled. I have yet to watch someone on YT in the author community to give NEW fresh advice, everyone says the same thing but in a different way.
Anyway, by the way the point is coming.
I had given myself a personal deadline of August to finish my first draft, but i failed because of my setbacks with starting again etc. I then have given myself until the end of this month but i am failing massively. I left it too long to back into my first draft, but quite frankly i am sick of my novel at this moment in time. It’s taking over my mind, it’s giving me anxiety, i dread writing it, i hate the story and i just don’t want to work on it… YET.
If anyone follows me on Insta, (writing account) i made a little announcement that i was taking a break from my current novel The World We See, and i hope to direct myself towards Alena. I don’t think this is actually a bad thing, because we often need to understand as writers whether nor not our projects or writing is really worth the stress and crushing of our souls.
Not all of our ideas are meant to be a book, they might be a short story, novella or just nothing at all and that is okay. It’s also okay to change your mind, even when you have told people this is it.. Because again, we as writer’s CHANGE OUR MINDS ALOT. I’ve seen advice where people have said it’s not a good idea to walk away from a project you are beginning to hate, but i see advice where it says it is. In my case, it’s a good idea to walk away from this current project, just until i am ready to go back and work on it some more. I don’t know when that might actually be, but i am happy with this decision to let it rest a bit, i think i need more time to allow the direction of my story to sink in with me. It had so many paths, so much research had gone into it and my brain is quite frankly frazzled.
If you are stressing about writing your novel, even a sequel. Ask the question we often avoid – Is it really meant to be? I am witnessing or have witnessed people struggle to write a book and infact most recently a sequel – Don’t force it to be written. This is something that gets over looked because writers are too busy seeing dollar signs, especially those already published and working on a deadline. It should be about whether or not the story is worth reading, don’t write it because fans or readers want it, write it because you want it to happen for YOU. Not for money, not for recognition to stroke your ego and enlarge your author fan base.
Struggling to write or finish a book to a point where you are ready to give up on life, or it’s stressing you out to a point where you feel almost at breaking point – That doesn’t become the motto ‘Oh just a writers life’, that becomes something else and that is what needs to be looked at the most. If it’s doing that to you, stop fucking writing it. A reader will read your book and like it or hate it, they don’t care if you have poured your heart and soul, blood, sweat and tears into it.
YES, writing is supposed to be stressful, but it’s not meant to break you mentally. You’re doing it wrong if that’s the case. I would rather write a book that i haven’t forced myself to write than one that is forced and ends up being shite. Readers will notice a forced writing.
These are all truth’s and thoughts i have had to tell myself. I set out to write a novel (finally) and i was so eager to do so, that i would cling to any story idea that came into my head. Setting it in stone before really even brain storming or planning it a little, because its exciting yes, and i didn’t want to disappoint people who i had told or disappoint myself. But the truth is, we have to have hundreds of story ideas and we have to brain storm and we have to decide whether or not it will make a good book – Even if that hits you half way through writing your draft, or at the beginning. We don’t want to be honest with ourselves because it does hurt, it hurts more than someone else telling you because YOU have gotten your hopes up.
I am now at this point where i will write quietly, without really announcing anything until i am dead sure. I am thankful that The World We See is still a good idea for a book, it just needs some time to develop – I need time to develop. Alena, needs to be drafted. That is something else that was on my mind whilst writing TWWS – Alena was my first serious idea and i shunned it aside for this one, every second i wrote i felt guilty.
The World We See will happen, but not just yet. A year, maybe two i don’t know – I might even want to write it sooner, i just need to say goodbye and as i do it, i am feeling this huge weight off my shoulders being lifted.
I have room for more ideas, i can brainstorm more shit that has been sitting in my head. Max Carver (more details soon) is something else i started almost four years ago, maybe even longer. I can brain storm him, i can brainstorm Give Me Back My Flowers.
It’s pointless focusing on a project that you don’t love enough to continue on, or kinda ‘stress’ over. Take time, take a break, work on other things whether that’s life or other writing. We writers are loners, we can disappear from the world into our own, so just take that time to spent some in the moment.
I hope this kind of made sense, i just wanted to dump my soul a little bit and it’s funny how i can write almost 2k words on a blog post but can’t do shit with my writing.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend!