The few days before beginning a project like this are always filled with doubt.
Unlike short fiction, where the end is in sight before I even begin, writing a novel means dedicating all my future spare time to this needy, clingy, never ending, consuming addiction. Yeah, I can stop whenever I want – I’ve obviously done it before with my 2 novels on hiatus. Yet, if you’re reading this blog, then you know that even after stopping, those remnants of unfinished projects never really die. Each one haunts me, with the continual promise of “I will finish!” I’ve been saying that about both for almost 5 years now. And I still mean it. I do.
So, as the inception point looms closer, I automatically begin to doubt whether all the energy and torment I put myself through (for the sake of art! and literature! and the great American novel!) is really worth it. It’s not like I’ve have a lot of success with long words of fiction … er, “not a lot” means none in this case. Of course, I begin to think that once again I’m opening myself to so much grief over something that will be read by no one. I’m not the type of person who writes just to write. I believe you must write to be read. Whatever purpose could possible exist.
Do I go ahead with this project? Or should I just scrap it. Delete this stupid blog (unread by anyone anyway). And be happy with the other aspects of my life – and I do have a lot to be happy about.
The answer lies in my very first post. I just can’t give it up. I’ve tried. I’ve gone years without writing. Yet, here I am again, always crawling back for more. The process means too much to me. It’s more than storytelling. I see fiction as a way of connecting with the common thread of life. We see ourselves in the characters we read. We share experiences and emotions. Or at least, I do.
I’m determined to do this. As I’ve said before, this novel is different than my others. It’s in a genre I have enjoyed since a boy: Bradbury, Heinlein, Asimov, Clarke, etc. I read them all in grade school, and then high school, and then beyond. I’ve never tried my hand at writing sci-fi before which, come to think of it, is kinda peculiar. You’d think that my love of the genre would be a natural path for me to take. But nope. Fantasy? My first “novel” when I was 18 was a swords and warriors type with glass and wooden unicorns. And charcoal horses! Ha ha. But I quickly moved on to more real, more personal.
Ah blah blah blah.
In the end, I’ve done my research for this novel. I’ve made my notes. I’ve brainstormed for over a month. I have a good handle on what I want to accomplish. All that is left is the real work.
Sounds easy enough.