Saturday, November 22, 2014

Why I Stopped Writing My Book... and Why I Started Back Up Again.

I never really had any sort of writer's block. I'd been motoring along quite regularly, meeting weekly goals I'd set for myself in terms of number of words a day, chapters in a week, etc. I was blogging, interviewing, and educating myself on the publishing world. Figuring I knew what I'd need to do once the book was done, how to get it published. All that. Everything was pretty freaking awesome in Tom's-Book-Land.

And then I... stopped. Time happened. I can't pinpoint any one reason that I stepped away so suddenly, I just didn't have any time. Things got busy, I kept putting it off and then, I just stopped. My wife kept asking me when there'd be more time for my book and to let her know if I needed time to just step away and write, but it didn't happen.

And then the doubt starting creeping in. The second guessing of whether or not this was even really a worthwhile endeavor, Why am I even doing this? Is my idea really original or new? It's cliche, isn't it? My protagonist sucks... I don't even like her.

And that was it. My life rolled on, I worked all summer. Went away on vacation right before school started up. The teaching thing happened again come September. My book, the one I'd spent so much time on (36,000 words worth) was done. Forgotten. This blog, naturally, went with all of that. I'd moved on.

I mean, I can't say in all honesty that I ever completely stopped thinking about it. It was always kind of there... more of, I wonder what would have happened to those characters had I continued writing. Where would the story have ended up? That kind of thing.

Jump forward a few months. I'm sitting at my desk last week and I decided to start reading my old "book". I got a couple of chapters in.

Hey, this actually isn't all that bad. I mean, that thing there sucked... but, that one, yeah, that's pretty damn good.

I couldn't let it go. I read through all 140 pages, all 36,000 words... didn't make any edits. Just read. The next day, I wrote the next chapter. The first chapter I'd written in months.

My book was alive again. The story. The characters.

I have to finish this thing.

And so we're back at it, me and my novel. I've written a couple of new chapters and this sucker is rockin' again. I won't claim or promise that there won't be more bumps in the road. Hell, I might even get hung up and stop again. I probably will. But, I will finish it. It's going to take me a long time, but I. Will. Finish.

Many of the author's that I've interviewed on this blog have told me that's the hardest part. Above all else, just finishing a story, a manuscript... that's the toughest thing to do. So many people have the ideas, but don't have the time or the drive to get it done. The desire? I don't know.

I've got it now. That desire. I've got a new plan of action too. More of my focus now will be on the novel and a little less on this blog. That's not to say I won't be giving blog updates here or there... just not as many. I'll be tweeting out more regular updates if you're interested. The thing is, if I'm ready to write and I have the time, I really should be giving it all to the story... not to interviews or blog posts about nothing really of much importance. You'll hear from me, but... less.

So, let's do this. Let's go finish this book. Only some twenty-ish chapters and say, oh... thirty to forty thousand words to go. I think. Sort of.

Not so bad, right?