So I completed my novella at 67k words. Note the sarcasm. But in all seriousness, I don’t mind the word count discrepancy, more or less because I’m writing this story for fun. This will be fourth fully completed manuscript — a number most certainly imbalanced with the amount of unfinished manuscripts I have under my belt.
It’s a great feeling to write ‘the end,’ no doubt, but it’s thoroughly discouraging when the future WIP you were saving to begin once you finished the current WIP has suddenly fizzled out and you can’t find the motivation for it. Anywhere. At all.
I was itching to start a new WIP about 2-3 weeks ago. And now, two weeks later, the fire for it has burnt out. In its entirety. During those two weeks, I denied myself any brainstorming, any research, any backstory work for it. And I can’t help but wonder if that self-deprivation crushed any and all desire for it? Or am I instead still riding high on the waves of accomplishment, two days later?
Indeed, something of a family medical crisis reared its ugly head today, so aside from appreciating any prayers, perhaps that is why I’m entirely devoid in the creative department.
So I wonder how long should one revel in the sense of accomplishment?
And I return to the all so common answer of: everyone has their own writing methods. That’s why there are no writing rules. Because what works for one writer may or may not work for another. I’m not poo-pooing all those writing handbooks and how-tos out there, far from it. I learned a lot from them. But at a certain point in one’s writing career, one must discover on their own what method works for them.
This is partially why I cannot readjust my work to Scrivener. In my previous finished mss, I used Scrivener for edits, and I thought it was great. However, I imported this latest finished mss to Scrivener and said to myself, ‘this isn’t going to work for me.’ I’ve worked with MS Word for far too long in my journey, that any other tool doesn’t feel right for me. Scrivener works for some, not for others. I’ve discovered that I have a particular method, including handwritten style books, typed manuscripts, editing in Word, the works, and it’s what works for me. I can’t force myself into another method, even if it may be simpler, or easier, or quicker, or all of the above from what I do now.
I like my pile of notebooks, handwritten notes, editing in Word, all my particular habits. And others will disagree.
I also believe there are certain writing principles and rules (existence of a climax, proper grammar, logical backstory, etc.) that ought to be followed, but I respect the rights of anyone who would stray from my personal ideals. I’m also convinced everyone follows these general rules in their own way on their own time. This writing journey is a neverending excursion, and we are all on different points along the way. And whether one is more or less accomplished than yourself as a writer, their position needs to be respected. I see very saddening amounts of pretentiousness and dismissal displayed in writers more advanced than others, and it’s upsetting. Because the truth of the matter is, those more accomplished than others, who’ve written many more manuscripts or get more attention for their work, or have more writing skill than another, oftentimes dismiss those who are not as blessed or talented as themselves.
In my fine art days, I recall feeling horribly dismayed by the lack of interaction or acknowledgment of the so-called great artists to those of lesser talent. I can remember feeling a thrill if a great artist so much as wrote a generic ‘thanks’ to my paragraph of praise and admiration. And then one day, I praised a particular equine artist that I highly admired … and she was real! She was down-to-earth, she made conversation with me, and we became fast friends over the expanse of the internet and the Atlantic Ocean. And I remember feeling so happy of the fact that yes, she is a real person, and she is genuine. Because everyone else ever hardly put forth any effort to thank their fans, if even that.
Now I understand there may be some legal, liability, or personal reasons why one wouldn’t interact with their fans, but I see interaction happening plenty of times with some accomplished folks, so why not some form of acknowledgment from another? Or is that too demanding of me to wish everyone would offer an explanation?
Times where I feel accomplished, are the times that ought to beckon a call back down to earth. To be humble and remember that we are all human, and contemplate why we do what we do, what we’re looking to achieve, what gives us joy and contentment in life. I write because I want to. Because I love creating imagery with words and language, to create emotions with words. Perhaps it’s because I’ve always struggled with communication growing up. Perhaps it’s my fine art hobby taking a different medium. But I love writing stories. I love the act of creating. Writing is not easy. But if the passion is there, it’s not hard, either.
It’s time that is the worst enemy.
So back to my original topic: I’m not going to beat myself up for not feeling that story I wanted so badly to write. I’m going to go with life’s intrinsic flow, let it direct me where it will. Because I would love to begin the third installment of my current urban fantasy series at this point now, but I can’t dismiss the urgency of starting a totally different story I felt a mere two weeks ago. I need to weigh them out, and only time can help me. Of which I’m giving a week’s contemplation.
In the meantime, I’m going to finish the 14th and last season of Poirot, and begin a new tv series. Netflix’s Anne of Green Gables, Supernatural, Sherlock, Midsomer Murders, Murder She Wrote…I can’t decide which. I’m miserable at making decisions. That’s a possible reason of why I’m floundering around right about now!