Of course, I’m talking about my first novel. You may remember a few months ago I dusted off Novel 1 in an effort to re-edit and make it publishable.
Oh my days…
As it turns out, it’s not very good. That’s the cold, hard truth I’m afraid. I’ve given it several drafts in an effort to crush that piece of coal into a spectacularly shiny diamond. But as the saying goes: you can’t polish a turd.
It might sound like a harsh thing to say about my very own piece of work that I’ve worked on for such a long time (two years and a bit), but I feel that I must be honest with myself if I’m going to grow as a writer.
I found myself staring at the words at a complete loss as to how to make them better. This then made me reluctant to work on it at all. I came up with all kinds of excuses to avoid writing. The result being that I haven’t written properly in a couple of months now. It also made me lose my confidence. How can something I’ve worked on for so long still need so much work? I started questioning whether or not I would ever write anything good. I also kept thinking about Novel 2 and how much I really wanted to work on that.
The truth is that I’ve learned so much from this project and I’ll be able to apply that knowledge to Novel 2. I think that it’s time that I let this one go.
Pull the plug. Do not resuscitate.
Maybe one day I’ll drag it once more into the light of day, but for now I think that it’s best left alone. It was a difficult decision. We’ve been through a lot together, me and Novel 1. We’ve hashed it out during my commute, had lunches together, spent lots of time in coffee shops, late nights, weekends… We even took several holidays together. I don’t put this down lightly. In fact, it was kind of like breaking up with that boyfriend who is super nice and you don’t want to hurt his feelings but you have to do it because he just isn’t THE ONE.
It’s important to know when enough is enough.
I feel much better having made this decision. I’ve once again picked up Novel 2 which is in its early stages and guess what… I’ve actually been writing!! I’ve also reread what I’ve written so far and am pleased with it. It almost sounds like a real novel. Obviously, it will need a lot of work and polishing as it’s in its infancy, but I feel good about it. My confidence has been restored. I still have a lot to learn, but I’ve attacked this novel from a different angle based on the mistakes I made whilst writing Novel 1.
No more excuses. No more dithering. Novel 1 is out; Novel 2 is full steam ahead.
I’ll let you know how it goes.