The Book of Defeat (Or more aptly, Defeat of a Book)

Though this may be a day late, I still hereby pronounce this to be a day that will live in infamy as the day I actually finished my first novel.

That’s right! It’s done. Rounded out at 580 some odd pages in rough draft format (yes that number will drop when I am editing, but as Stephen King says, it is better to have more and shave away than to have less than a book on your hands). Now one would think I’d be doing mercilessly clumsy cartwheels right now, right? But no. Instead I’m almost melancholy in my level of temperance. I have lost the will to cartwheel, let alone clumsily. Somehow the culmination of two years of (off and on) work has left me feeling kinda motionless. Almost as though my meaning has been realized and completed. Now I’m just trying to remind myself that I have dozens more to write, and that’s just the ideas I’ve had so far.

I theorize that I’m perhaps daunted by the prospect of starting from scratch all over again. Having an idea take shape over the course of two years feels enormous when you’re at the starting gate.

For those who might wonder about my process, or who are in the throes of such a creative pursuit themselves, I must be frank. (Yes Frank, which is better than Surely.) I wrote the first 160 pages or so of my first novel in a year and a half of writing when I ‘felt’ like it, or when I could make myself sit down and work. After reading “On Writing” by Stephen King (see here and here), I decided to quit my bitchin and actually BE a writer, not just claim the title eroneously. From that day forward, the next 420 pages came over a span of between three and four months. That’s right, when you’re serious and a fascist with your time and writing, you too can write a 420 tome in three to four months. That’s fucking insane, right?

No, it’s insane not to.

You may also say, but writing for an hour to two hours everyday will be a lot, what if I get burned out or grow weary of doing it? Well, is it your calling? Or is sitting from 9-5 everyday in a cubicle wilderness more your line of existance, because that’s what you’ll be doing in lieu of writing if you so choose. Do you see the futility of complaining? Good.

I started a new book today. I’m hoping the new project will relieve some of the strange stoicism that its predecessor’s end brought me. Finger’s crossed, people.

Reposted from (1/7/11)


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