NaNoWriMo: Switching gears

What to do . . .

So I’ve been working on and off on this novel for a couple of years, and I’m thinking it may be dead. I’ve been going through phases where I’ll add to it everyday for about a week, and then go several weeks and not even look at the thing. At this point, it’s been almost a month since I’ve opened the file. I’ve been working on a few short stories in the meantime.

At what point do I just hang it up? I’m not talking about deleting the file, I just mean admitting to myself that the thing is indefinitely dead. I’m only 30,000 words in, and I still think there might be potential. I even have an idea about where it’s going to go from here. I’m afraid I’ve just lost the excitement. And that seems to me like a red flag. Maybe I’ll revisit it some other time. It is, after all, my first attempt at writing a novel by myself (me and a friend co-wrote a 60,000 word short novel a few years back).

The other thing is, I have a new idea. It’s been something I’ve been turning over in my head for a little while now, and this morning I woke up with a clear picture in my head of what could be the opening scene. I feel inspired about it, especially being that it’s National Novel Writing Month. I also feel a little afraid, though, if I truly am abandoning my first attempt. It feels like failure. I know the thing to do is just to keep going, push through it, but it’s a blow to my pride. It makes me wonder if I’m really ready to tackle a full novel.

Anybody have a similar experience of wondering whether or not to give up on a project? What was your final decision?


4 responses to “NaNoWriMo: Switching gears

  1. That first paragraph is SOOO me. I have quite a few stories that are a couple thousand to 10k words in and then just die… It’s been a problem for me to finish anything of length pretty much ever since I started writing as a child. I’m actually kind of jealous of you ppl who can do NanoWriMo, because I think it might just be an exercise in frustration for me.

      • Actually, I completed a novella at 15 or so, prob about 15-30k, but my Dad decided to clean house one day and threw away the floppy it was on. But, otherwise, I’d say,( damn) prob my short story Time in a Bottle, at only 3500 or so words… Pitiful, huh? No…wait…that’s not right… I did a short zombie story…that one might have been 8k… but I’m not sure if it’s on my computer. I might only have a hard copy of that one.

  2. Pingback: NaNoWriMo: Outlining | Dana Stewart·

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