Following on from last week’s post, I’ve been thinking lately about what to do with my writing, and how to spruce up my blog. As always, I decided to sit down and ask ‘why’ until I got an answer (I love this technique – it always works). I began with “why am I not writing lately?” and went from there. In due time, I ran out of ‘why’ questions and got to the root cause.

I’ve been trying to force myself to finish something I don’t like.

I know that’s a common thing adults have to do – and that we all hate doing it – but it gets a bit weird when it involves something creative. See, I’m writing books of my own free will, to pursue topics and themes I personally find interesting. That’s my fuel. No fuel, no progress.

At the same time, I’m keenly aware that creators often don’t like their own work, for any number of reasons. Heck, my favourite musician even made a song about this on her latest album.

That has put me in a weird space, for months now, where I’ve been wondering whether or not to finish the book. I can sum it up with a forcefield diagram.

In the end, there is no right or wrong answer to a dilemma like this. I decided it might be best if I remove the wayward third act from Violin by Moonlight, finish editing it, then publish it for free as a novella on here. It’ll be 175-200 pages, giving curious visitors something to read.

I made this decision because it’s in line with my mission statement:

I want to write stories that encourage people to connect – with themselves and others.

Violin by Moonlight was hard to write because it’s a story about disconnection. I had planned to have the two protagonists choose very different solutions to their similar problems and then explore the outcomes. By design, this meant the protagonists would have to stay disconnected, else how could I illustrate the consequences of their different actions?

By contrast, The Network is about the protagonist finding himself, connecting with two significant people along the way. Animators is about an entire family searching for connection and meaning.

I hadn’t realised until recently just how much this theme means to me. It makes sense, though, since I can’t help but find myself through writing. That’s the power of constructing a story, and I aim to share this with others.

Up until now, I had thought I could write about anything – any subject, topic or theme. Certainly, my writing takes me places I’d rather not go as well as to places that surprise and delight me. Anything can happen once you start to write. That said, it seems I’m very much against the idea of writing a book that focuses on disconnection to the point it devolved into emotional monotony, even if it was almost ‘complete’.

There’s a book I’d like to write about rituals and mythology in the context of societal bonding. As a perk, I can blend it into my Animators world that I’ve already created, since it fits perfectly into the setting for book two of the main series. I reckon I’ll start on this project next.