Can I be finished yet?
Does that question make me sound ungrateful? It probably does, and I’m really sorry about that. I am. But being this close to finishing my book, and still not feeling like I’m getting any closer to actually being done, is really discouraging.
Have you ever felt this way? Completely lost even though you know exactly where your story is going?
I don’t know why I’m so impatient all of a sudden. I’m not even really all that focused on my word count, except making sure I crank out at least 1K per day to keep myself moving forward. I don’t want to rush through the rest of it just to finish. I don’t want to take things out just because I don’t feel like I have time to finish developing them and tying up their loose ends.
Maybe it’s the fact that I’ve been working on this story for a long time, and I am looking forward to starting to work on a different project (I’ve had another story idea in my head for a month or so now, but I’m saving it for NaNoWriMo). Maybe it’s the fact that I know this story so well, even when I write intense scenes, they don’t surprise me anymore.
Maybe I’m just having a bad day.
I’ve really been dragging myself through my daily word counts this week. Some days I fly through them, and those are the best days. I know we can’t have good writing days all the time, or we’d get bored. But on the days I’m struggling to get the words out, I just wish it were over already.
I don’t even technically know how much is left. I’m filling in all the gaps I’ve unintentionally left for myself. Connecting the plot points. Making sure I locate those pieces of story I wrote earlier in the project that don’t really belong in the book anymore and taking them out. Trying not to worry if my book is too long, too complicated, too simple, not realistic enough.
I don’t remember if I’ve been through this before, coming up on the end of a story I’ve basically given my life over to and suddenly feeling like I want nothing to do with it. I’ve probably just unknowingly burned myself out, writing every single day for two and a half months. But I’m afraid that if I stop and take a break, I won’t start again, and the first draft will never get finished.
I’ve already decided that when I’m done writing, I’m going to take a week off from the story. Close it out and let it just sit there. That’s the other reason I’m so fixated on getting it done. I just don’t want to look at it anymore.
It isn’t that I’m not proud of it. It’s normal and totally okay to be proud of your own work. I guess I just secretly wonder if it will ever actually turn into anything. Or will it end up like all my other books, only ever read by me and a few people I trust, never shared with anyone else?
All this hard work can’t be for nothing. But I’ve seen this book come undone too many times to let it fall apart again. I’m so far, I’m so close, even if I did have to restructure it and change it, I think it would still survive. I don’t give up that easily. I just hope that doesn’t happen.
Stories are like people. Sometimes they can’t become all they want to be until they’re stripped down to their basic elements and woven back together again.
Will it all come together in the end? Will you finally get a break from all these crazy Wednesday updates?
Hopefully. Hopefully soon.
Meg is a twenty-something workaholic with a passion for writing, coffee and health. In addition to her status as an aspiring novelist, Meg is the managing editor at College Lifestyles magazine, a guest contributor with Lifehack and a guest blogger for Food & Nutrition Magazine. She is a seven-time NaNoWriMo winner and has also written for Teen Ink and USA TODAY College. Follow Meg on Twitter.