March 2, 2017 in Dag

Setting myself up to fail

Over the last few weeks, I’ve been posting about my planning for the next book I want to write. Blathering on about how I’m aiming to combine genres in unexpected ways and conduct quite a bit of research before I get started.

Throughout these posts, I think there’s one thing that is clear to see. Have you noticed it? Have you figured out the underlying purpose behind these posts? I reckon it’s actually pretty obvious.

It’s all about evasion. It’s all about me finding ways to fill my time instead of actually getting in and making a start on the story. It’s about me channelling my favourite superhero of all time, Procrastoman – the superhero who never actually gets around to saving the day (and I could talk a lot more about him too, but maybe that’s an entire other post).

There’s a bunch of reasons I could give for my lack of willingness to make a start on the story.

Partly, it’s just laziness. Writing a story is hard work. Coming up with random stuff for this blog is – well I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s easy, but it’s a lot less intense than the acts of planning, plotting and actually producing a full length novel.

Partly, it’s distraction. I’ve got a lot going on in my life at the moment. I don’t really want to go into it at the moment because I don’t want to weigh this blog down with heavy stuff. But my life is way more complicated than I’d like it to be at the moment and there’s always that little voice in my head saying that writing a new novel is just going to complicate it even more.

But there’s one reason that overrides all the others. Fear. Writing a novel is scary. It’s even more scary when I’m trying to break the mould of my previous stories and write something new and different. This book I’m planning has more elements than anything else I’ve written. It combines more different genres. It will cover a number of different themes. It will have multiple narratives – something I’ve never tried to do before. It will have a strong romance element, another thing I’ve never really done before.

Pulling all of these elements together is going to be challenging. When I look at the goals I’m setting myself, there’s a very good chance I won’t achieve them all. There’s a pretty good chance I won’t achieve any of them. I feel like I’m setting myself up to fail.

Then again, if you don’t put yourself in that position in the first place, what’s the point? I never want to write the same story again and again. I always want to try something new and to challenge myself. If I end up failing, I’ll know it’s not for lack of trying. And who knows – even if the final novel is nothing like what I originally planned, it’s sure to turn out to be interesting in other ways.

So I’m determined. I’m definitely going to make a start. Whether I succeed of fail, I’m going to give it my best shot.

The next time you hear from me, the journey will have begun.

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