Wednesday, August 7, 2013

I Don't Know What I'm Doing, and I Never Do, and I Like it that Way

Yes, the subject of this post is a run-on sentence, and yes, I enjoy using them in a tasteful manner. And I also like beginning sentences with "and", but that's another post entirely.

On to what I really wanted to write about:

So just like that, I'm switching writing projects. My previous manuscript was starting to feel forced. I was pushing ahead at a snail's pace, and churning out scenes that worked alongside ones that didn't work at all. And the whole thing felt like a battle.

Writing takes a lot of discipline, but I've never felt like it was a battle. For me, it only works when you're engaged in something you feel compelled to finish. So what happens, then, when you realize, mid-sentence, that your brain has another idea it's more prepared to tackle?

My guess is you work on whichever manuscript feels right. Not that I'm an expert. I have tons of unfinished work (mostly ill-conceived short stories, but a few novels), and whenever I go back to them I usually find a solid reason why I left them in the first place. The problem here is that I'm not sure I'm leaving the first project out of distaste. I really like the idea I set out with. It's not perfect, and there are a lot of questions about where it's going that I don't have answers to, but that's kind of how I work. I don't outline, and the only times I've tried to outline I've only succeeded in procrastinating on the actual writing part. This time, though, I suffered a horrible lack of confidence in my ability to pull out a lofty idea that I'm not in the right frame of mind to accomplish.

Then again, maybe I'm just quitting. How can you really tell if a novel is bad before it's even finished?

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