I’ve been hearing from many writers that the average time span to write a book is six months. I wonder if this is real or not. I hope it is. For two months since the start of February and now, to the end of March I have been heavily revising and editing the first book of what I claimed to be my magnus opus. These two months alone had been more than one hundred hours each, which meant I’ve already logged in two hundred hours in strict editing of the first book of my long series.
I sometimes wonder what’s delaying me to publication or why I’m still writing about it in endless revisions, editing. Yes, there are always parts to change but I wonder when I’m going to stop and when can I tell myself it’s finally done. Hopefully, sooner. My original target to publish the first book was five years from last year, but then it occurred to me that it can be done earlier. When I claimed to publish the book five years from now, actually, the novel is already done.
Now, I think I’m closing in to that goal and cutting the five years target, but still, there are many things stopping me from going to that place.
I took a very long term vision, because I thought that’s the time required to create a masterpiece. Endless revisions, countless versions. But the truth of that matter is that this series has been on the making for years already.
It can intensely be boring. Editing is not fun. When I wright my first draft and doesn’t know where my story is going, that is where the excitement and the fun is. Time passes. These last two months, there were a lot of instances I would pause after an hour or hours and looked at my time watch and tell myself, that’s all I’ve got, and there are still more hours left in the writing session. My attention is drifting more than I ever did. The temptation of doing other things is greatly, what if I just do this and that. I guessed, it has something to do with I already know what I’m going to read next and what’s going to happen. I have to be fully aware with the individual words on the sentence now, which is not fun at all. I convinced myself to change something just for the sake of changing it, not a good method. But of course, there are a lot of inconsistencies found too. For instance, I had changed a definition of one word in my fantasy series and now that I’m rereading it, I still stumbled on the word, which meant after so many times of rereading my novel, I missed this word that shouldn’t have been there anymore. So there is this advantage but at the same time the thought that it will probably never end. The boredom I feel is still productive. I’ve done already three rounds of a 200k word novel. Try rereading any book, even if it’s your favorite and I assure you, eventually you’ll be repelled by it. But I know inside me I have to go through this stage, that this specific process of going over and over again with my novel is very necessary.
The boredom would strike and I will write a new one. In fact, I failed to refrain myself, to stop myself of doing something new until I get something published. I should be focusing all my time on what is important. If distributing time is to be considered, if all those new drafts/novels I made were converted for one book, then I can already have this one thing worked out. Do the One Important Thing. In these two months, I wrote a 2k words short story and fought against will not to start anything. So far, I succeed. I know, once I started something I have to finish it and I usually did. A short story in small word count is good as a distraction compared to starting a novel, but I’m more with the latter.
You see, if I looked at myself in the mirror and asked myself, do I really want this? Surprisingly and shockingly, my answer is I don’t want to publish it. Consciously, I tell myself I want to. Of course I do. But do I really want it? I give it more consideration, and always go back to the basics superficial and light reasons. For instance, I don’t know how to make an Amazon account and I continued to procrastinate that. My schedule during this season is running, writing, learning a language, and reading. For many months now, I’m not dealing with a change of schedule that every time I thought about doing something new gives me anxiety. Another, do I really want to engage with others? I’ve cut social media a long time ago, though I sometimes update on Twitter, I really don’t open my social media for many weeks and I’ve been on this same regiment for years now. It’s not really bad, considering writing is a very introverted activity. I need about five to fifteen minutes of seating down in front of the laptop, before actual and ninety percent of my concentration kicks in. If I came from internet surfing and writing activity comes, there will be an attention leakage for me. My thoughts will run on what I did in the internet, say Youtube, while staring at blank page. It’s like that noise in my head. Not peace at all.
So publishing a book, will change many of my schedule and being creative is my priority. Another one is, confidence. As long as the story can be understood by the reader, then that is good enough. It’s okay. But really? I don’t know anyone in the field to know if the novel is good. I’m writing novels for almost a decade now and yet there I haven’t met any beta readers who told me my writing is good, because, well, no one had read any of my works yet. So this claim that my novel is readable is really blind.
I have to stop this article now as I’ve been told the establishment is closing.
Until next time.
Date Written: 03/26/18