September 4, 2009

On Giving Up

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.


christopher savage said...

Yeah, it's definitely a sobering lesson to learn when you have to kill your baby. But I think it's good you're looking for the silver lining (to use a cliche). Good luck on the next novel.

Crafty Green Poet said...

sorry you're giving it up, but you do seem positive about it, and I think there's probably a lot to learn from the experience?

The Storialist said...

It can be a lovely thing to realize that it is time to let go of something we've written.

Do hang onto never know when you'll re-use one of the chapters, or change the ending.

The triumph should be in finishing the novel, regardless of whether or not it's published. It sounds like even better projects await!!

Dorla Moorehouse said...

I think I have learned a lot from it - overall, it was a good experience. And I'm looking forward to starting my next novel, and I even have ideas for a third. Lots of new projects await.