I wanted to write a blog about my latest book release, Waiting For Magic, however I have one major problem. Everything about the book annoys me. I don’t think I’m alone, as a writer, in saying that I sometimes fall out of love with my books, my characters and the world I created. In fact, it’s probably quite common. A large number of novels that are started are never completed. You start off with tons of enthusiasm and your imagination in overdrive. If you’re anything like me, you start living the book in your head. You jump out of bed in the morning, excited to start writing. You really, truly feel like this could be the book that helps you make it big. And then you hit an enthusiasm dip and sometimes, you never get back out of that dip.
Ladies and gentlemen of the writing world, I feel ya. This is not uncommon and there are many ways you can deal with this.
The first, probably most common way is to give up on the book and start something else instead. You don’t have writer’s block, do you? I personally subscribe to the Jerry Seinfeld theory about writer’s block. There’s no such thing. It’s just an excuse for not doing your work. So, start writing something else. Maybe you’ll love that next project until the end, or maybe you will hate it just as much, but at least it’s progress.
The second way to deal with it is to put it aside for a while and go back to it when you’re in a better frame of mind. It’s possible you’re just fatigued, so go and read some of your favourite books, have a day out, watch some movies or make love. Whatever your thing is to unwind, do it.
The third way to deal with it is to keep going and force it out. Some people really stick by this method but to misquote an old joke about love, writing a book is like a fart – if you have to force it it’s going to be shit.
During the writing of my fairy tale trilogy, I did lots of things to try and force the writing process. It took me three years and four months from start to finish and during that time I filled five notebooks full of plot changes, made Spotify playlists full of songs that I was convinced were inspiring me and drew maps of the village where the story was set. I sketched characters, wrote poems and set release dates, hoping that the fear of a deadline would help move things along. Were any of these things the “right thing to do?” Well, they weren’t wrong, and I did end up with three books but I also ended up with a really unsatisfying experience that I’m really glad is over.
The one good thing to come out of this whole experience is knowing that my strength lies in writing about cat detectives and everything else is just me wishing I was someone else. So, the question now is, shall I write a new Leger story or start another cozy mystery series?