I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I don’t think I’m going to finish “The Winter of Analena Reichard.” I’m one of those people that once I get to a certain point, I will force myself to finish, even if I legitimately hate the story. I was so sure that wouldn’t be a problem this time. I was so excited when I started this story. I wasn’t going to think about submitting it or whether or not it was any good or not, or any of that stuff. And for awhile, I was on a roll. Then the unthinkable happened: I thought about that stuff. It was just a moment, but I couldn’t take it back. Then the freaking out started. I tried to talk myself down. I said to myself that sometimes there’s just nothing you can do. You slave over something and it goes nowhere. I just have to accept to it. It sucks, but if you want to be published, what else can you do but try again with the next one?
But that didn’t work. So then I thought, maybe I just need to quit. Because really, I don’t even want to write the story anymore. But fact is: Finishing stuff is hard.
So I gathered all my energy and I tried again. I pushed everything away and I wrote a few thousand more words. But I kept thinking…can’t I just walk away right now and finish (or not finish) later? Because I do want to be published. I am going to think about those things. If the thought of submitting this story freaks me out this much, something has to be wrong, because it has never caused me to freak out like this before.
In your writing life you are going to have stories you just don’t finish. Whatever the reason. It’s going to happen. It doesn’t stop happening because you’ve written so many novels or gotten published or found the magical beans that make the magical tea that makes you confident and fearless and what-not. Now, it’s been a looong time since I haven’t finished something. Probably 9 years. If I want to quit, even 6 chapters from the end (seriously I’m six chapters), then I think I’ve earned the right to quit. Doesn’t mean I won’t finish at some point, but I am not going to finish this right now. I can’t look at it anymore.
Let’s be real: Sometimes, you do need to force yourself to finish. Either because you need to learn how to finish something because you hardly ever do. Or because it’s a sequel and people are counting on you. Whatever. There is a time for force. And it’s best to learn how to do this before you get to the point where people are counting on you.
Right now though, no one is counting on me, and I think I’ve proven to myself that I can finish stories. I’ve done it 14 times already. The thought of working on this story is making me really unhappy. Maybe I’m just exhausted (and I am EXHAUSTED) and the thought of doing anything right now is making me unhappy. But the fact of the matter is, I like the story I finished in February (which was Chains of Destiny) a heck of a lot more than the two that have followed it, which includes this one. I had a hard time finishing that story, but I did want to finish it, so I fought through the urge the quit. Honestly, I don’t know what happened with “Winter.” I don’t hate it. It’s not falling apart. I’m not uninterested. I just don’t think it’s working. And if I finish it, I’m not going to do anything with it. And something I don’t know how to do anymore is keep working on something when I know it’s not going anywhere. Not since high school. And let’s face it, I’m not practicing anymore. I don’t need any more practice novels. I have enough of those.
It’s hard to quit, people. Especially being this close to the end. I seriously think it might even be the crazy talking. But there’s this part of my brain that’s like, “You’re not crazy. If this is just going to sit there and you don’t care, then why are we finishing it. It’s not like we don’t know how it ends. We can always pick it up later if something changes.” Okay, I feel like Gollum right now, but really, what is the point? The only reason I would finish is so I could say I wrote 3 stories this year. Like, who cares? I don’t care.
So yeah…I’m going to do something else. I haven’t 100% settled on something, but it looks like it’ll be The Queen of Diamonds, which is another higher concept fantasy like Chains of Destiny. And this scares me because I told myself I would never ever write a higher concept fantasy again because I’m absolutely no good at it. Ha. My brain thinks it’s funny. It is not. I’m still on lookout for something else, but it doesn’t look like this idea is going to let me go; I’ve been trying to shake it off for months. I guess you can’t always choose the ideas the fall in love with. ^_^
Anywho, Happy Holidays, folks! Merry Christmas! See you next week!