It’s funny, I look back at my three main works on here and they all share a glaring resemblance; I have not published a full-length novel yet. It’s not for a lack of trying. As I look through my unedited manuscripts now I see there are 11 incredibly crappy texts ranging from 55-110k words, all easily passing that 50k threshold, but for some reason, none of them have called to me the way my shorter and published works have.
I like to joke when asked that editing novellas are just easier than full-length manuscripts but in reality, my shorter texts just had that it factor that drew me back before the others.
For Brinwood it was Milly. I knew I had to finish a tale that included her. For Lost in the Clouds it felt more like accomplishing/finishing a story I began telling back in the 4th grade. As for Just Under the Sky; when I began editing that I only had one other manuscript on my computer (a crime comedy called Hopscotch and Keyes, which had a completely disastrous ending I didn’t want to touch with a ten-foot pole).
But I’m all out of novellas now, and it’s sort of terrifying because I know the next thing I publish will be a full-length book, which means it will be fairly compared to other full-length novels and I can’t help but feel I may not be at an adequate level as a writer just yet. I mean to be fair do we ever reach that level? I like to think self-doubt is as American as apple pie and more common than oxygen, but it doesn’t make dealing with it any easier.
As exciting as writing is it also carries a weight that the moment you publish you are being compared to the people you were idolizing years ago (maybe not explicitly but at the very least subconsciously when people jump over your title to get the one your hero wrote because why settle for the poor man’s version of it?).
It’s this constant battle in my head, and I am sure in other writers’ heads as well that I want to simultaneously be recognized for my work without the actual spotlight. I don’t know, it’s like what I love about writing is exploring the infinity of my personal space. What brings me joy is sharing its limitless boundaries with readers; then what terrifies me is having those boundaries invaded by those who want to know more, which is a direct contradiction to the thing I just said brings me joy so it just keeps pounding away in my head until I write again.
It’s funny because even now I think I may be writing this blog post because I finished a portion of my writing duties for the day and I just don’t feel ready to transition back to my daily duties just yet and was looking for some sort of buffer.
I’m just editing this book right now, working title is The Absolute, and it’s a doozy and it’s some sort of funny-sad because there are parts of this I am just pouring everything I got into and I still know it’ll never compare to the people I read for my pleasure.
I mean I’m writing a book where the protagonist’s ultimate goal is to literally kill God (with a big G) and all I can think about while I’m exhausting myself with edits is “Who’s really gonna read this piece of shit?” I mean it’s too pretentious to be commercial, and it’s too sloppy to be pretentious, and then I’m scared I’m just gonna be seen as some wannabe genius (if I’m lucky enough to be seen at all) when in reality I’m just writing the fucking book that comes to me.
I don’t know; I know this blog post has become a bit of a bumble ramble bomble and I apologize for boring anyone who took the time to read it. I usually put at least some thought and measurement into the words I put into the world but maybe instead of searching for some sort of ending to tie this whole thing together I just shut the faucet off and let the sink drain.