You have heard of obsessions, when a man is haunted day and night, say, by the idea of the moon or something? Well, I’ve got my moon. Day and night I am obsessed by the same persistent thought; I must write, I must write, I must write. . . . No sooner have I finished one story than I am somehow compelled to write another, then a third, after a third a fourth. I write without stopping, except to change horses like a postchaise. I have no choice.
Trigorin in The Seaqull by Anton Checkhov
This is not an admission of failure, but I am not going to have my novel ready to submit to publishers by the end of August.
That’s the goal I set last year before going to the beach where I decided which novel (of several in draft form) that would be.
I had a good start. I made some good progress. Just not enough.
Let’s back up.
Last year in one of those awessome mornings on the beach, after I’d had the chance the clear the cobwebs from my mind and just sit there, thinking, praying, relaxing, I came to some conclusions. Or perhaps the conclusions came to me. But it was one of those moments when a voice, and yes I believe the voice of the Lord, was saying this is what you’re called to. This is what you should be doing.
Writing, art (which I’ve interpreted as both painting/design and acting) and ministry. The ministry part wasn’t defined and still isn’t completely. There was also a sense it was clear that I needed to put the main focus on writing and that maybe that’s where the ministry will come.
I’ve done that. I’ve put more focus on writing. Just not with the novel.
The fact is that I now have more writing and design work than I can keep up with. Enough for more than 40 hours a week if I wanted. Just not (yet) enough to replace the current paycheck. That day will come.
The novel will come as well.
I realized about a month or so ago, after starting rehearsals for the third show since January, and after backing out of two class opportunities, that I wasn’t going to make my self-imposed deadline. So I modified it to say that I would have the first draft done before the beach in order to edit while there. After all, I had two months and I’ve successfully completed Nanowrimo multiple times.
Then a new July writing assignment came. One that I’m still trying to complete. At that point, all bets were off on the novel.
I may yet make significant progress before we leave for the beach in late August. But I’m not going to beat myself up for it if I don’t.
Truth is, I want to spend my time at the beach reading, not writing. I have a plan for at least five books that I want to read this fall. I plan to start all or most of them at the beach. I’ll certainly write some, but that’s hard to do from a beach chair with an entertainment beverage.
So, the novel goes on hold. That’s not failure. Just reality. As I wrote recently, I’ll only fail if I quit. I’m not quitting.
I’m not going to say “okay, I’ll do it by this time next year,” because I hope to have it done much before that. I’m not in any shows in August and September, and rehearsals for Glorious Christmas Nights don’t really start to heat up until mid to late October.
So, the current plan is to finish these writing assignments that must be completed by the end of the month. Then finish the show which closes on August 3.
After that, I can re-focus on the novel.
Well, except for the time I’m in that class I just signed up for.
Other “novel” posts:
A Novel Idea
The Novel: Three Days in A Tragic Discovery
Dude, where’s my novel?
Change of Venue
Well Begun is Half Done
On Not Being Superman
How Did I Get Here So Quickly?
On successful writing: I’ll only fail if I quit