Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I tried, really

I think I'm backing out of my NaNoWriMo commitment. It's not that the task is too difficult, I've just lost the will. I don't really like my characters and I don't like anything else about the story so far. It's not interesting. I'm bored just thinking about it, so I can't imagine anyone else being interested in reading it. I know I should just start over, then, but I have no ideas. None. Everything seems boring and nebulous. I'd say this little 4,000 word foray into fiction has been a humiliating experience. Not in the normal sense of the word, maybe, but in the sense that it has caused humility (or self loathing and pity, which is sort of a deformed and ghostly shadow of humility).

They say you're supposed to write what you know, and I've decided I just don't know enough yet. I've experienced very little trouble in my life (which is not a complaint, mind you, just a comment) and I know only a limited set of facts and people. I guess it just boils down to the fact that I have nothing pertinent to say. I feel like a total failure and limpet on the hull of society, but there it is.

I hope that I will still be able to write fiction at some point in the future, but right now I'm just not ready. It's makes me sad, but it would be even worse to limp along and write absolute garbage just to fill my word quota. I don't think I could do that without hating myself. All that to say, I guess I'm not participating anymore. I'm kind of depressed by the decision, but nothing like I would be after writing 50,000 words of drivel.


Johanna said...

I understand how you're feeling. I'm feeling the same way about my art. I've lost count how many projects I've started, restarted and then just scrapped.(hug)
I think you write wonderfully, really. Someday inspiration will come along.
Save what you do have written. Who knows it may prove useful in the future.

aftergrace said...

Ah, excuse me. Did I hear you say drivel? My dear, reading your work is a happy note in my day. Please don't be so hard on yourself. You do have quite a bit going on right now with two little ones. Just think of this writing as an adventure for the future.

Carmi said...

I often wrestle with similar feelings: what to do when the words simply will not come, when the voices are only speaking in shapes and forms that no one would find readable.

The fighter pilot's mantra goes something like this: know when it isn't your best day to fight. Back out, get your plane safely back home so you can come back another day and fight when you're ready.

Writers would do well to heed that advice.

Of course, writing for a living, where clients have deadlines, is a little different!

Tina said...

I'm a pretty big fan of your non-fiction. Let's stick with that.

Heather said...

Even attempting such a project is amazing to me! I wouldn't even know where to begin. You should be proud of yourself - you are a great writer!

Qtpies7 said...

Oh, you can do it! How many times was the lightbulb a failure? WAs it the lightbulb? Well, I didn't pay attention in history, but I know that great things are only made by many failures, not half-way and give up cause they didnt' like it.
Make some "garbage" and then you'll feel better! You do not have to write perfectly, and certainly not the first few books. But you can't write a best seller on the first shot, so you need to get the garbage out of the way. Why wait until you are 40, you are going to get there anyway, you might as well get there trying.
Ok, I may only make sense to myself here. But I am just trying to encourage you.

JAM said...

I'm sorry you're backing out, but I certainly understand. I started and finished for the first time last year and it's something that will never, ever, ever see the light of day.

But that's the whole point behind NaNo, to just sit down under such a crazy deadline that you just put down swill until you've written a short novel and just simply DONE IT.

My book from last year was incredibly bad. Horrible, horrible stuff. Full of the stupid cliches that make me put down a published book in a heartbeat, but I realize that you have to start somewhere.

Personally, I don't think you lack experience in life for an interesting book, I think you lack the courage to write badly.

The worst thing a writer can do as they write is to be critical of the work on the first draft. I'm behind right now, and I see things that I would have to change in any future versions, but that's just it, EVERY FIRST DRAFT OF ANYTHING PRETTY MUCH STINKS.