It’s been a year and a half since I first started writing my novel. It’s been an arduous task, teaching me more about myself than anything else. The journey has taken five separate manuscripts to get to this point, a gruelling act of scraping, and re-writing and planning. I wouldn’t change anything about the process (though I don’t know if I could do it all again if I had to).
It’s at this point, however, that I’ve reflected on what I want to produce at the end…whenever the end is. So far, I have no date on the horizon, though I would ideally like to finish a semi-polished manuscript at the end of this year.
For months now, when writing, I’ve been thinking about the end-process. Pitching to publishers, defining a genre, making sure my novel displays the characteristics of the so-said genre. I’ve done research, trying to make my book as realistic as possible, factual even, since it’s set in a historical period. However, after reading a myriad of similar titles, both in the genre and topic, I realised something. They aren’t the books I want to write!
Sure, they are fantastic reads, great writing that have won awards. But they don’t speak to me and they rarely excite me. It’s at this crossroads that I’ve decided not to stress about the machine of publishing, the thought of having to justify why my book will sell, where it falls in the market. I don’t want it to be just another book, the next “so and so”. I want it to speak to me, and project myself onto its readers.
The book I’m writing falls into crime and thriller genres. However, I don’t want to follow the plot design and outline of these books. I don’t want to follow a formula like so many authors do today. I want to write a book with purpose and meaning and a level of poignancy no matter the genre. I want it to be hyper-real, stylistic and nuanced.
I’ve been finding it hard to find the motivation to write lately. Some of it’s my uni workload, but most of its procrastination. I constantly feel a nagging at the back of my mind, whenever I have free time. Write, write, write, write. Though it’s an uncomfortable self-deprecating feeling, the agony of the thought of not writing means that I do actually want to write. It’s an experience I’m sure a lot of writers feel.
So now, as the uni semester wraps up, I have to set aside time to write. I’m not going to promise myself a certain amount of words or pages. I’m just going to fulfil the one thing I set out when I first established Fox Writer. I’ll write for the sake of writing. Again.