You and Your Novel (A Love-Hate Relationship)

Happy Sunday everyone. The week has been a long, stressful one and my depression was kicking in high gear. The temps were hot, sticky, and my bad tooth was flaring up. I won’t get into specifics about my depression, but I will tell you one of the causes. My book and I have been having a wrestling match and it won. It wants me to spend more time on it with no more procrastinating. Yes, a work in progress does develop a mind of its own after a while. Either that or I’m just crazy. Aside from that, I ask you, what do you do when you have a love/hate relationship with your own book? How can you even work when the faith you had in it, in the beginning, is starting to wear thin?

Some people like to call the projects they are working on their “Baby.” Because it’s something that you created, nurtured and enjoyed until it was matured into the beautifully finished work that you devoted a big chunk of your life to. Even during times when you felt like you didn’t have a clue about what the hell you were doing and often times felt like giving up. But something inside of you just wouldn’t let you give up. Yes, I’m comparing this to raising a child. It’s quite similar if you really think about it. One minute you love it, the next minute you can’t stand it. Childrearing can be the same way. But there’s always a light at the end of the tunnel during those moments of wanting to throw the laptop out the window.

We are a generation that gets bored very easily and our internet minds need constant stimulation. The process of conception and writing a novel is exciting and can create a boost in oxytocin levels because it’s fresh and it’s new. But just like any other relationship, it will not remain new for very long and you begin to fall into the routine of writing and trying to come up with new ideas for chapter after chapter. But what if one day you’re fresh out of new ideas? You feel yourself writing less and less and the writer’s block becomes frustrating, boring and repetitive. Sound familiar? Almost sounds like a real relationship doesn’t it? That’s because it is.

But the problem is that sometimes we don’t wait long enough to start missing writing the story, missing our characters and we are ready to throw in the towel before it even got soaking wet. Patience is a virtue and love is always complicated, even for your work in progress. Like a relationship sometimes you may find yourself wanting to experiment with other things. Reading other people’s work, starting a new project, only to find yourself coming back to the one you started months or even years ago because that something that was so great and magical about it, just won’t disappear from your mind. You begin to realize that it wasn’t your story that fucked up, it was you. But I digress, it does take two to ruin a great story because sometimes the magic just dies. But oftentimes can be revived if you really loved it from the beginning.

This week I wanted to shelve my project and start a new one so bad that I couldn’t stand myself. But I have a bad history of doing such an action which in my opinion is a copout. This marks the first time in history when I didn’t give up on a project and try to pick it up again later. Why? Because I’ve already done it three times in the past with this very same story. I know, shocking isn’t it? Something about it is forcing me to stick with it this time. I don’t know why. Something in the force, I guess.

Or maybe it’s true love…


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