The Pains of Being a Novelist
I’m an aspiring novelist, and that’s really no secret. I spend most of my trying to write.
Or at least convincing myself that I should write something related to my novel.
It’s challenging. There’s no one placing a knife to your throat, threatening to kill you if you don’t finish the novel. It’s a lonely life. You have no one but yourself. So today, I’ve decided that I’ll give you a little insight on the pains of being a high school novelist. I want to tell you all what writing means to me, and how it’s helped me.
The first problem is the motivation. Like I said before, if you’re writing something, there is no one forcing you to do it. You can always drop out the race, and in the end, you really have nothing to lose. How do you push yourself forward to finish it? It’s almost impossible. To make things worse, most creators put themselves under the most scrutiny. They’ll constantly tell themselves that their novel is complete crap. That takes away all of the drive and all of the desire to finish writing. Giving up and eating some doritos seem like the best option. I did give on a novel, to be honest. It was about environmental terrorists. Slowly though, I found myself realizing that the novel was going absolutely, and I scrapped the project. I might begin it again as a side project on Assembled Creatively, however, I don’t see that happening anytime soon. When I scrapped that project, I was in the eighth grade, and anyone who knew me then would know that is was a little… depressed, for a lack of a better word? I was miserable. Sure, it might have just been a couple of typed pages to someone else, but to me, I had just destroyed a part of myself. Out of that misery grew a new project- one that I was passionate about, and ultimately, the project that I finished in the early days of January, 2014- exactly a year and two months. It was also the project that allowed me to climb out of the pits of my misery. However, now, in the May of 2014, comes the motivation part again. About two months ago, I was querying this novel. I couldn’t figure out the exact words to describe my novel. Being the perfectionist, I went back, and began to rewrite book. I’m not even 12 pages in yet. Everytime I think something is good, I’ll realize how horrible it is, and I’ll be back in square one. And this time, there isn’t really any motivation to finish (in January, my mother was threatening to take me out of swimming. That certainly got me to finish, all right).
Another sad factor is time. There never seems to be enough time to write. Between classes, homework, swim practice, eating, sleeping, Tae-Kwon-Do, Kumon, managing Assembled Creatively, I seem to be running out of time. This is one of the greatest pains of being a novelist- there is never enough time. And it sucks.
Perfectionism and time are the greatest forces against finishing a novel. There isn’t enough motivation. Sometimes I wish finishing my novel would affect my grade in English. Then I would really have a motivation to finish. But to be honest, I shouldn’t have to feel forced to do write. It’s what I do, it’s what I enjoy. I wouldn’t have spent so much time if I didn’t want to.
My theory? Humans are naturally lazy, no matter what how much we want something. It’s up to our pleasure centers to find a contrived way to get results.
You know…maybe I should actually ask my English teacher to make 50 pages of my novel rewritten a part of my final grade…
Writing is a lonely, lonely world. No one is forcing you- you need to buckle up and find a way. No one is out there to help you.
Only you can help yourself.
Copyright Vyas Muralidharan. Work is property of Assembled Creatively/Vyas Muralidharan. Image is property and copyright of their respective owner.