At this moment I decided to pause editing my novel and write something else instead. It struck me that I’ve been writing for a very long time now. I think it’s already been five years of me writing a novel hard and a decade into writing stories, which I would say was not a full story at all. Just a full script. People in exchanged of dialogues and an occasional action. The first story I wrote, the notebook is peppered with dialogue. An asterisk where the action happened. I was fourteen at that time. I still don’t know English and had no knowledge of what a novel is. In my mind then, I wanted to be a Director of a movie. In my immature mind a Director is someone who creates a story so that is what I wanted to be. Over time in my writing journey, I stumbled into books. Trust me, I started into a habit of reading late. Way too late. I’ve heard from other readers that they start reading novels at a young age. For me, I think I was just around seventeen when I read my first novel. It was Kelley Armstrong, The Awakening. Reading, slowly changed me. I was just this guy who played computer games. I tuned in to books and strayed away from the old life. Slowly, I didn’t notice I’m spending less time with friends. Until, I’m not spending time with them anymore.
These past five years of writing a novel it definitely tune me into isolation. Writing and reading seemed not to be a good idea. It creates a lot of anxiety. I remembered now that on my younger years I could just talk to anyone. I would communicate with them. I’ll enter a random computer shop where there were many groups playing dota. I would tapped the people around and joined the game of other strangers, which was common in the area around our school. Now, I can’t do that. In High School, I played Volleyball. When I still lived our previous home, I would go out in the afternoon and play basketball. Writing definitely change me and stripped me of my activity. I added running into routines, which seemed to be a common thing for writers. Writing, reading and running made me a deeper person who contemplated on things.
The past five years of writing a novel, in some way made me an anti-social person. I’m not spending time with anyone, until I don’t have friends anymore. I don’t even have a social life. My life revolved around writing, writing and writing, the others being reading and language learning. All of them were spent with me alone. I transformed and lose people. Last year, 2016, I think there was not a single day where I went out with people, except of course if it was school related.
So why there seemed not to have any growth at all? Five years and clearly I should have at least some other writer friends. Evidently, if you go to social media platforms there should be other aspiring novelists. But being in this craft was not something that required to be with other people. So I don’t know anyone. Why also there was not any progress in works? I’ve written so many novels now. I kept tracked of the time I started on working on something and the time I ended it. There was just too many. So why not a single of them were publish?
I think it’s because I haven’t work really on publishing anything. I just put on writing one novel after another, thinking this would make me grow. Thinking that with so much quantity I would only need to pick one. I did try editing and rewriting only last year. I had picked one work and decided to face my great fear. Read my own work. That’s when I see that after four years into this craft, I’m so freaking bad. Given, they were first draft they were really disappointing. So 2016, I pushed it hard, writing at least eighty hours a month. But I can’t really focus on just one work. It drains me and my overactive mind drift to something else. I forced myself to read my works and create something new less.
It is now officially the first day of February, 3:20 am and I felt I had hit a plateau and it’s time to change my schedule. Probably drop writing and socialize more. There seemed to be something with people, forcing people to be sociable. If you’re not networking, you’re not living.
Another reason there was no growth is that I’m not submitting any work. I haven’t talk to any editors personally. Though I attended twice a writing related event last year, one was a seminar for writers and the other one was simply a free event where book signings of authors were done, I haven’t taken any initiative. One of my 80k word novel had reached its many rounds of editing. At that rate I should have a list of editors in mind but I was just lost in the process. After finishing a work, I really don’t know what to do. I searched in the internet for editors. I’m willing to pay and invest on this craft. Yes, editors appeared. I sent an email to some and got a response from an editor who’s not in my genre. Still, I procrastinate. Then it hit me, why find an editor? At this stage I should have a complete query letter, blurb for that work and the necessary works to get a publisher. But every time I think deep about it, I still needed another round. I mean, I have to really really work on the novel. It had changed completely but I still want when I paid an editor, he’s work will be fully focus on what he had to focus. I want to least his work so he can concentrate on the things I missed. No editor; no critique. No professional, I wouldn’t know where my mistakes are.
Another dilemma into writing was that no one knew I’m writing a novel. Family members at home asked me why I’m arriving around five am and I couldn’t provide them an answer. My mother even accused me of doing something illegal. She said, if I can’t say what I’m doing then it’s illegal. Other family members wondered why I locked myself in the room for the entire day. I don’t tell them because telling them feels giving them an expectation. It was better they think I’m this lazy boon who had no ambition rather than feel the pressure from them. And since I don’t have friends, I have no one to tell about my story.
I just like writing but writing hard feels I’m hitting a wall again and again. Yes, there was still advantages on writing a novel/s. I always think about the future. Here’s what goes on in my head: I’ll find a job soon, I’ll work and I’ll have less time on writing. Because I have less time, I have to focus that on editing. In the future I will only have to pick one work and edit that. This I found to be the biggest flawed at all. You see, everything I edited completely changed the trajectory of the story from page one to the last page. So there was no difference at all because I seemed to be starting from scratch. At this rate, I think I’ve hit a plateau. I only need someone to tell me how bad I am.
I’m stubbornly writing without thinking smart and along the way I have sacrificed many other stuffs. I think, this was the reason I had arrived late on my many affairs. In school and in internship. This was also the reason I put many should be do things aside. I set myself for a job interview for a flight attendant. I had a chance for two Saturdays but I missed that. I had chatted one person who worked in the company for a few days and now completely ignored her, because well, what could I tell her? I didn’t go on and apply?
Recently, stumbled into Forex trading and my first thought, why not? Now if you’re considering to have a career growth, the first think to consider is the job that you’ll have. But then, in a millions of college graduate, who thinks about this? I mean, get a job is the trend regardless of what occupation. But if you are someone, the smart move is to think what occupation. Career growth should be an option. For me? This doesn’t matter. Job does not matter. Whatever job I should hold wouldn’t and shouldn’t matter. Why? Because regardless of the job, I’ll be doing my passion in the sideline. In the back, I will be writing. So whatever job I hold is not important. In fact, I should look for a job that’s not mentally tasking. I know every job is hard. But what I mean, is that a job that should make me function like a robot, a job that should not make me think. Where, after the training everything will come involuntarily. I can’t do that in writing. I should be highly detail oriented if I’m editing.
Think of being a teacher. I am a graduate of English and that seemed to be where I should go. But I’ll be teaching. And being a teacher is not just a job inside the classroom. It goes after the class. I have to prepare my lesson plan and check my students’ paper. Another area where I think writers shouldn’t be in is where you produce something. Like being a programmer. Creating something takes creativity. (This is another reason, I write a lot. So when I get a job where it will need my creativity I will only go home and focus on the technical part of writing which was grammar. This, again is wrong. Everything will change if you are rewriting. I made it a point, everything is change. Because otherwise, why call it rewrite, if I simply read them? So, I’ve been dupe by this ignorant belief. I think, being a food crew is good for wanna be novelist.
Stubbornly, thinking of only my writing also caused me to be delayed in life. I’ve written a lot and it led to me graduating late. The average college graduate in my country is 20. I’m 24 when I graduated. Writing also cost me not to find a job and thus be broke. Oh, this just keeps on getting bad. I can’t buy anything I wanted, which is not important at all because I’m not materialist. What I had in the bank is a small savings over the years, I hope to use it for editor. After that, I’m completely shell out. Another dilemma is girlfriends. I can’t remember the last time I had a girlfriend and really, at 24 I felt I never had a girlfriend. There were this few women after high school. Dated them but as I said, over time, writing and reading took my time. Over time, I’m not seeing those people women anymore. I’m not really fully aware I’m doing it but I recollect texting them I was so busy. I think they just give up and stray away from me. For the last five years I’m single. In college I always think of a woman by my side in this career. You know just have someone else by your side. But I didn’t get to have anyone. I seat in library and see this librarian and thought to myself, why not her? Right now I worried about relationship. I don’t know how to do them anymore. Writing also gave me a social anxiety that I don’t seemed to have when I was a child. How do I get in a date? Can you give me an advice? If you’ve been single for very long, it feels that you’ll be single forever and then there were other thoughts. Am I not charming enough? Oh, I thought I’m the most sincere man in the world. Maybe, women don’t want a faithful guy like me. I mean, come on, how many times have I heard women complaining about cheating men? Am I not dreaming enough? I think it must be my face. Why don’t like me, is there something wrong with me? All those things bombard me every time I think about relationships. 😀
Now, I’m about to go home. It’s 4:20 am and I logged six hours of writing today. I’m about to finish my round of edit for this specific work and will be dropping that novel. I don’t know when I will look into it again. I have other things in mind, especially a job. I will be reading Prince of Thorns. After finishing that book, I swear to change my schedule. I’ll find a job and find a girlfriend close on time for Feb.14. But then how many times did I really say that? I think I’ve been saying that for seven years now. Gosh, I am now coming to realization that I should be normal and live like everyone else. I should stopped writing and learning a language. Who does that?
Just now, I looked around and there were girls. I feel the barista is checking me from time to time. I caught her looking at me for a few times now. But looking does not mean interest. I never fall for it. I seat in an establishment for more than six hours and I get the looks a lot. I feel they want me to leave, or is it just me?
Anyhow that will be all for today.
Date written: 02/01/17