It happened again. The story I began earlier this month fell apart. I didn't mean for it to fall apart, you guys, it just happened.
Acorn was a science fiction story about an alien spore germinating in a small town and infecting the townsfolk. Cool, right? And it was...for a while. Inevitably, what happened to all my failed stories is the same thing that happened to Acorn. I got tired and bored with it. And I guess I can partly blame the day jobs for it too. I'm so tired at the end of the day that I pass out rather than write, and I sleep through my writing session the next morning, barely even having time to down a mug of coffee before heading off to work. When I do get a chance to catch up on my days off, so many days have gone by that I'm struggling to get up to speed on what the hell was going on when I left off.
I'm not making up excuses. I'm just telling you what went down. Focus and time management are critical in anything you do. But there's the fun factor as well, isn't there?
A novel is the longest piece of writing you can do. Stephen King says it shouldn't take longer than a season, or about three months, and I heartily agree. But I also agree with him that you have to have fun, otherwise writing becomes a chore you hate and something you feel obligated to do rather than looking forward to.
In that regard, if three months is the time limit to get to the finish line, one should be the limit to telling if there's really any potential in the story. If you lose interest within the first month, then you should go write something more enjoyable. Unless you're contact-bound to finish it. Then you just have to suck it up and write.
This offers no cozy solution, I know. This is one of those "trust your gut" posts. As I write this, a friend of mine is telling me, "Sometimes ya gotta push through." I feel like that's too simple. I feel like I need a constant kick in the ass. A writing group. An accountabilibuddy. A word pimp.
Or maybe I'm just in the throes of a panic attack. Probably both.