Thesis Thursday: Why I Can’t Finish Writing My Novel

Thesis Thursdays is a weekly(ish) feature where I rant, love and talk about young adult books I’m reading because I’m conning my college into thinking this is all for academia! Find out more here!

keep-calm-and-carry-onOkay, nobody panic. I’m not saying that I will NEVER finish the novel that I started last semester. I’m going to. But the sad truth is that I promised myself that I would finish it over winter break, and I haven’t. And I can’t blame that on anything or anyone but myself.

I could blame the holidays taking up a lot of my time. I could say that I’ve been working really hard at my job while I’ve been home. I could say that having to get my wisdom teeth out didn’t really help anything either. All of this is true. But I also know that I have had time I could have spent writing that I didn’t.

I’m really close to the end. Maybe even ten chapters away, give or take what happens. I have a rough idea of what’s going to go down. I know for sure how it ends. I even have ideas for the second book. But I keep dragging my feet.

I’ve written maybe two chapters. They’re rough, and I’m not pleased with them. That’s fine, though–par for the course on a first draft. It’s not that the fervor I had during NaNoWriMo has died or anything, because I still think about this novel all the time.

I just don’t want to deal with what comes next: editing.

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I would really like to do something with this story. I think that it has a lot of potential, and I’m in love with it like I have never been in love with a story before. But I hate editing. I hate it. I like writing. Writing, however, is the easy part. And I don’t want to leave the nice and easy. So here I am, stalled out, so close to the finish line but standing at a dead stop.

I want to be writing. Writing is, for me, a physical necessity. If I haven’t written for a tumblr_m9010sxdqf1qdhag9o1_500while, then I’ll play learn to type games or doodle on multiple sheets of paper just to get the itch out of my fingers. Maybe I’ll write a blog post. Or seven. I NEED to be doing something with my fingers and words. Right now, though, I’m physically blockading myself.

This novel needs so much work–as first drafts always do. In my more naive moments, I thought that I might be excited to do that work. Of course I was wrong. Editing is that moment where you rip into everything that made you excited and you say I DID THIS BADLY. At least, that’s how it always feels to me. It feels like a figurative equivalent of stabbing myself multiple times with scissors while cutting off my fingers. I don’t like it.

bampw-bw-black-and-white-boy-favim-com-841197I also, however, don’t want to cop out and just start writing something new after this. I could write the second novel I have planned, for example. If I write about doing that a few weeks from now, then please feel free to shame me for succumbing to such weakness. That’s what it would be, and I know because that’s what I’ve always done. I write a draft, call it done after I run a spellcheck and move on to the next thing. That’s not how you get better as a writer. It’s the easy way out.

I don’t want to take the easy way out. But I really, really hate editing. So, for now, I’m at an impasse.

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3 thoughts on “Thesis Thursday: Why I Can’t Finish Writing My Novel

  1. you have at least two people waiting for what comes next! I guess I would call myself a visual person, but even your un edited version makes me visualize the characters and what’s happening – so, get er done! …we are awaiting to “see”

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