On January 10th, 2014 I sent an email to myself. It was the beginning of a story that I wanted to write. The opening line was this:
Strayed, broken, alone, he wanders through the wilderness. Grizzled beard blowing in the breeze, shrouded in a cloak that hides his modest features, he has reached the point of a rocky cliff that overlooks the infinite sea.
On January 8th, 2018 (almost four years later to the date), I’m writing this post and I couldn’t feel more like the character in the opening line of the book.
I feel like I’ve strayed from the original reason I started writing the story – to bring me and others around me joy. I feel broken, after four years of writing, revising and working with an editor, I feel like I’m no closer to publishing my book. Alone – I’ve cut ties with my current editor for multiple reasons concerning fault on both of our ends. Wandering – I now feel like I’m wandering aimlessly on this writing project with no true north to follow. I can’t grow a beard, so that part isn’t accurate but boy do I feel like I’m standing on a rocky cliff overlooking an infinite sea of challenges. Do I jump from the cliff and end the turmoil that this project has caused me – ridding myself from the emotional and financial burden of completing this project? Do I go back to being a consumer of other’s great works leaving my heroes and villains in a dusty Microsoft Word file on my desktop for no one else to ever read?
This is where I’m at. If I’m being honest, I’ve reached my breaking point.
When I started writing the first chapter of this book all those years ago, I had an over abundance of confidence in myself. Unwarranted confidence mind you, for I had quite literally no writing experience. I wrote the first draft of my book in six months and laughed at how easy it was to accomplish. But being a fast writer and being a good writer are two different things.
The reality of how much I need to learn about writing to make my book publishable is overwhelming. The price it would cost me to get this piece of writing polished up to the level it needs isn’t realistic for my budget. The time I have to dedicate to learning the craft of writing more in depth is non-existent.
All of this makes me ask the question – Why? Why do writers go through this grueling process? Who are they doing it for? Is it an act of ego stroking self justification? Is it to bring joy and hope to others? Is it for money (laughs uncontrollably to himself)?
I know that if I stop working on this book right now, no one will ever really know or even care that I don’t write it. The only person who will be ruined by me not finishing this book is me. But why do I care so much? Most people don’t write books or music and they seem to be content with their lives. I just have this compulsion that I can’t explain to create.
I do apologize that this isn’t the most inspiring blog post about writing, but the truth is that I’m not feeling very inspired today. Writers – what do you do when you get down in the dumps about a project? How to you pull yourself out of the bog of hopelessness? My thoughts right now are that I just need to be patient and give myself time and space to learn more about the craft and allow the time necessary for me to create a better version of the book. I need to learn how to have fun with the process of learning while I write, edit and revise. I’m open to any support or comments that could be helpful/inspiring.
May AURA’s light guide you.