So after 10 months of work, and after just yesterday writing down the goal of submitting the novel to at least one publisher, I've decided it's time to let my novel go. Have I abandoned it forever? Not necessarily. There's always a possibility that I will want to pick it back up again. But there's a pretty high probability that I'm done. And you know what? I'm okay with that.
I have been giving this quite a bit of thought lately; it's not something I came to randomly. I realized that after 10 months, while the novel has improved in many ways, it has nonetheless stagnated. It got to a higher point and plateaued. After 10 months, I don't even want to show it to anyone for critique. I don't think it has any more potential. I'm beginning to feel like I'm wasting my time with it. I don't really even want to self-publish it - it's not anything I want to let loose among the general population. And the thing is, I generally don't lack confidence in my work. Okay, sometimes I do, yes. But the point is, I generally have a high opinion of the pieces I submit for publication. And I have never felt that way about the novel.
I'm starting to feel like this novel is diverting my attention away from other projects as well. There are new things I want to pursue. Such as finishing my research for my next novel, which I'll be drafting for NaNoWriMo 2009.
Am I a little frustrated that it took me 10 months to realize this novel wasn't worth saving? Maybe. But I learned something. For one thing, I learned that I can write an entire novel in a month (I wrote this for NaNoWriMo 08). I learned how much work it can take to revise. I learned more about submitting to publishers. And I also learned that giving up is okay sometimes. I'm ready to let this project go.