For those of you that have been following my blog for a while, you know that I am working on my Epic Novel.
I am embarrassed to say that this Epic Novel very rarely gets worked on. I go through stages where I’ll write a page or two in earnest, and then it gets left behind for a few months. I guess I just don’t have the energy to continuously pour my work onto these sheets of paper. I admire people who can write short stories in an hour – it’s a gift, it really is. When I think of stories, they are never something short, they are always…EPIC.
They are a masterpiece (in my head) that spans a lot of time and usually has a strong female character that is on some sort of quest. The quest can be internally, externally, or a combination of both.
I made up a story in my head about a fairy that goes on a magical quest to free her fairy village of the evil magic that was closing in on it. I’ve written about this before in a different post on bullying. But I made up this story when I was in 5th grade, began writing it when I was in 6th grade, and finished it in 9th grade. This was ages 10-14. And guess what? I finished that novel. Yup. It was 62 pages long, NOT double spaced. Oh, I was so proud when it was done. My sister later revealed to me that she was insanely jealous that I had finished a novel before I had even graduated high school since she was always “the reader” in our family. (My sister is now getting her PhD in English, has focused on Creative Writing, and is working on her first novel)
I think I had more time back then. Actually, I know I had more time back then. But I feel like I also had a lot more ambition. I wanted to finish that novel and I did it.
Now, for this Epic Sci-Fi Novel:
I made up the story two years ago. I started writing it one year ago. I have gotten five pages and two lines on the sixth page done.
There. I said it. My Epic Novel is pitiful! It’s been two years and I’m only on my sixth page! I’m totally beating myself up about this because I don’t even have the motivation to sit down and say, “This month I will write at least three pages.” How hard is that? Three pages?? HOW HARD IS THAT? But I can’t because I’m ridden with guilt. I feel guilty that I see all these bloggers spitting out short story after short story, guilty that I can’t find motivation to sit down and right, guilty that when I was younger I was able to spit out a novel so easily, and finally guilty that I really, really do think this is a great story but I’m not giving it the time of day. And the guiltier I feel, the harder it is to sit down and work on it.
Writing takes a lot of time and takes a lot of work. I’m sure every author has had moments of complete discouragement like I’m having right now. But I’m sure they also got more than five pages done in two years.
To make myself feel better, I leave with a quote:
“People on the outside think there’s something magical about writing, that you go up in the attic at midnight and cast the bones and come down in the morning with a story, but it isn’t like that. You sit in back of the typewriter and you work, and that’s all there is to it.” -Harlan Ellison