I’ve come to a point in writing a novel that no writer really wants to come to, especially when they’re participating in National Novel Writing Month: I think I’m giving up on it. Maybe just for the time being, but also possibly because I’m not vibing with the plot, anymore.
Initially, I was incredibly disappointed when I came to this realization about the novel. Even at this moment, it’s bringing up some of those feelings of not being a true writer, because this will probably be just another conglomeration of words that I throw into the pile of other words that don’t make it to the finish line. It makes me doubt my skills as a writer, because I get so many people (myself included) excited that I’m working on something BIG and COOL and that will make me feel AMAZING when it’s done…only to get 16,285 words into it, saying “hmm, you know what? This idea just isn’t me.” Like, if I can’t even write things that I feel in my soul for a novel-lengthed period of time, what am I even doing with my passion for writing? Right? (Wrong, most likely, but still.)
But at the same time, this has been a pretty refreshing experience. I’m a firm believer in no word going wasted in a novel/story/blog post/whatever you may be clacking away at on your computer, because it all has a purpose, even if that purpose isn’t immediately evident. While it’s easy for me to believe that I wasted my time writing 16,285 words of a novel that may never come to fruition, there are so many reasons to believe that those thousands of words actually benefited me in my journey of writing. Without those thousands of words, I wouldn’t have learned that lovey-dovey romance stories just aren’t things I enjoy writing about. Without those thousands of words, I might not have realized that, if I told the story from the cupid’s point of view as opposed to the guy going through the motions of finding love, that the story could have an entirely different meaning.
Without those thousands of words, I simply wouldn’t have grown as a writer.
Though I’m disappointed that I won’t make it to the 50,000 word goal for NaNoWriMo, I don’t feel cheated out of finding my own satisfaction on where this month took me. Sure, hitting the goal would have been great, but not at the cost of forcing myself to write something that I didn’t feel truly passionate about. I really have to stand behind the stories writing to feel like it will be a success, and though I started out believing that this novel would be, I’m okay with the fact that it didn’t stay that way.
What matters most is the fact that I’m still passionate about writing, and like every other novel I stopped, this is just another speed bump in actually finishing one sometime in the future. I have several ideas for stories and a non-stop drive to get content out into the world, and as long as I don’t give up on that drive to create, then I can still consider myself a good writer.
So if something like this ever happens to you, just know that it’s not because you’re bad at what you do, or that you’re not creative enough to get over the block. It’s such a normal thing for creators to encounter, and I’m sure several accomplished authors, artists, photographers, musicians, and whatever type of creator you can think of would say the same thing. As long as you don’t let these blocks get in the way of your passion to keep creating, then you haven’t truly given up on achieving your goals in doing what you love.
As a quick little side note, I posted all of the 16,285 words I wrote for National Novel Writing Month this month on my Patreon page for $3+ per month patrons, so if you’re interested in taking a gander at some raw, unedited creations, feel free to head on over there! There are definitely a lot of fun moments that I’m proud of in the story, and though this particular novel might not be something I continue, I’ll definitely cherish those moments. I mean hey, I can possibly use them (or situations like them) for future stories, so that’s definitely something to look forward to!