There’s a fine line between love and hate and depending on the day, my relationship with writing could fall either side of that line. On one hand, I really enjoy coming up with new ideas, creating good characters with interesting relationships and building a world for them to inhabit. But on the other hand, there’s the stress, pressure and self-doubt that comes into play when I sit down to type at laptop or when I pick up a pen and put it to paper.
Today, I have come up with a new novel idea. I have sat at my desk to try and write a second draft of my favourite short story that I’ve ever written. And I’ve also said that I am giving up writing, that I’m no good at it and that it is pointless for me to even continue to try and write. I’ve not had much success.
In fact, the only success I have had from writing came from being a ‘highly commended’ entry in a writing magazine competition. This might be part of the problem: when I sit down to write I don’t see any end game in sight, and I don’t see myself making any great strides or progress towards being a published author. Though, when I don’t write and I spend my time instead playing on the playstation or reading articles about films instead of writing, I feel angry with myself that I’ve not done anything to help my writing.
So I’ve got myself a schedule of where I want to be at weekly intervals with my writing after picking out a few competitions I think I can enter. This afternoon, I sat down to redraft my favourite short story and I hated it. A couple of days ago I went through the story, highlighted the good parts, pointed out the bad and decided what changes needed to be made. Rather naively, I thought that would make writing the second draft a lot easier.
I didn’t even get halfway through the second draft before I gave up. It was awful. In no way was it better than the first draft. The characters weren’t jumping off the page like they had the first time I’d written the story, the world didn’t seem as interesting after the changes I had made to the structure. It was a bad story, it was poorly written and it was incredibly inferior to the first draft.
Maybe I had sat down in the wrong frame of mind, just wanting to get it redrafted and out of the way, but this is how I feel a lot of the time. As I mentioned before, the fun part for me is having the idea and crafting it into something that can become a story, but when I try to write any of them I feel like I’m doing them an injustice. I have so many ideas in my head that I struggle to focus on any one of them for a long enough time to ever make the progress that I want to see.
Last year I finished the first draft of my novel, Queen of Hell Rising, and what have I done with that since? I’ve made an effort to read through it and evaluate the chapters, see what makes sense and what doesn’t, but I don’t have the passion or motivation to do that. The worst part is that I don’t know why I don’t want to do it because actually writing the novel was greatly enjoyable and I do think it’s a genuinely good piece of writing.
Maybe I just need to sit myself down and focus on a long term project, or maybe I should have a stern word with myself and get better at redrafting. Or maybe I just need to give up on my dream of being a writer altogether, which seems a lot easier and a lot more desirable at this point in time.