Existential Crisis and Deep Thoughts Ahead!
Welcome back to another Storytime Wednesday where I will be introducing a new segment called Writer Thoughts Wednesday. I will be discussing not only my novel writing but also the random thoughts I have while writing, or about my writing, and turn to you – my readers – to try and understand my thoughts and answer some nagging questions.
Today the topic is Existential Crisis, which you can probably relate to. Usually, I would hope you cannot relate to the mind-spinning crisis that befalls many writers, but for the sake of answers to the million-and-one questions and scenarios I will throw around in this post, please understand where I’m coming from *gives you puppy dog eyes*.
From the top…
The crisis, how did it befall you? Well, imaginary-narrator who is actually me asking myself questions to sound cool, it happened today, around midday when I actually bothered to read (I know shocker), the rules for submission of a literary prize I’d been hanging out to enter.
Please elaborate. Since you asked nicely. I’ve been fixing up the first three chapters, a full outline, and a page synopsis of my novel #Realise – which I have posted about heaps on here – and I realised that the prize is only for ADULT fiction and non-fiction. Why is this a problem? Realise is a YOUNG ADULT novel. After figuring this out, I went through the five stages of grief faster than me eating cheese (and that’s fast!).
Basically, it went kinda like this (but all in my head of course);
Denial: “It’s okay, I can totally still submit this novel, it won’t win, but I’ll have submitted it. Yeah, it’ll be okay… Yeah.” I then Google the prize and its past winners.
Anger: “Okay, yeah there is totally no way I can submit it. What am I even thinking? This prize isn’t for my novel. Damn this. Damn everything! GRRRRR”
Bargaining: I start Googling other competitions to enter my novel into. Look at the timeline for PitchWars. “Will my manuscript be finished by then?” I can’t find any other prizes, knowing many of them were open earlier in the year.
Depression: “What am I writing for then if not to submit it to this prize? What even is the purpose of my novel? Do I even want to be doing this? I’m never going to be published. This is ridiculous. What am I even thinking?”
Acceptance: Now I’ve scrapped all of my little notes and plans related to the submission, and I’m writing this post. Accepting that I won’t be submitting my novel to anything, looking for the motivation to finish it and just find my purpose as a writer. “Maybe I haven’t even reached this stage yet, I still feel stuck in the previous stage.” I feel the ghost of that girl who was excited to finish her manuscript and hold it in her hands, but I can’t empathise with her. “Where is that excitement?”
Damn, that’s messed up. Yeh, I agree.
Let’s Fix It… Kinda!
The big issue is motivation. The big M.
As I mentioned, I can’t bring myself to understand the excitement that I once had on my first YAPage writer’s meet when all I cared about was finishing the novel, and submissions never crossed my mind. This thing I was working towards, this submission was keeping me writing and really, I didn’t even realise that it was.
For the rest of the day, I just continued to ask myself the question what am I working towards now? I can’t stop asking it. It’s as if I need a reason to write. As if I need a reason to not stop writing.
I don’t want to stop. I love writing and it’s taken me long enough to write what I have, I really don’t want it to take any longer. Man, I sound like a winge. You’re probably thinking: “Why aren’t you writing now, instead of writing this ridiculously long post?” Well friend (we’re friends now, deal with it x), I’m thinking the same thing – probably because I just wrote that, so I thought it… oh gosh I’ve lost it.
Yeah look, maybe I should be writing now. Trying to re-work each chapter to perfection. Be grateful for all of the hard work I did in preparation for the submission, because in reality none of that work; the synopsis, the two-page outline of my 23 chapter novel, and the perfecting of the first three chapters, are now part of my planning for the continuation of Realise.
Solution? What I learnt? Summing up this rambling.
I’m not mad, sad, bargaining, or in denial any more. I’m actually content I think. Yeah, I still need to maybe gain that part of me back that just wanted a finished manuscript and not 100 pages of perfection, but that will take time as things do.
I’m really happy about my ignorance (hear me out). In not reading the rules clearly, I did the following:
- Wrote a full two-page breakdown of the plot of my novel and fleshed out the plot points that were causing me stress. Identified that my novel can come down to a nice 23 chapters.
- I know every one of my characters, who they are, and their motivations in the novel.
- I also now have a full page synopsis of Realise which I may release in a blog post once I reach another milestone word count (let me know in the comments if you’d like to read it).
- Chapters 1-3 are perfect for a first draft and set the voice for my whole novel and in particular my main character: Jaz.
All in all, I am proud of what I have achieved and where I am with my novel and its plan.
Thanks for listening. Getting this off of my chest has really really helped.
Let’s discuss your writer problems in the comments below, and let me know if you’d like to read the synopsis of Realise xx