I went to the library and took out some of my favorite books, I noticed how different they all were, but all had the same qualities. They took me somewhere else, and created a logical world within the covers, and the sentences flowed easily and each paragraph were compelling no matter where I picked up, I always wanted to know what came next even if I didn't know what came before. Looking at my book, I could see I have created a logical world, I feel my characters are compelling but my language simply isn't rich enough.
I feel it's so lacking comparatively.
It's completely daunting, not because I don't think I could write like that, because I think I might, but I don't know how many hours, months or even years I need to put in before my book has as much texture and depth as these ones. I really don't know if I can get to the end. I have started projects before, and then something happens, SARS, getting sick, my son starting school, and a life change, and then I let it go, and leave it unfinished. I so often let life get in the way.
And as much as I want to finish, I don't know whether I can keep up the momentum when the process has gone on for months on end. Will I just spend less and less time on it, until it's shelved because my life would so full of other things to do, and I no longer have time or inclination for it?
I do know that I have never gotten this far in the process for this particular book. I have tried to write it at least three times, but each time, I stopped because I felt it was too close to life, and I didn't want to talk about my friends, I just wanted to respect everyone's privacy. I also didn' t have the stamina or the maturity to write this much, I don't think. But this time, it's been so long since it happened, I don't remember the true stories anymore, I had to make a lot of it up.
But this book is something I talked about even when I was a kid, "I am going to write about us one day," I would say. I am 65 000 words into the current novel, which are 200 plus printed pages, but I had written over 300 pages and 100 000 words over all.
It feels like a good book, but it's a big book, with lots of characters, and stories. It's about kids in a difficult time in history, in a difficult time in their lives, but at the same time, so many beautiful memories were made, all that I am trying to capture. I never planned for the book to be this reaching, nor this dark, nor tell so many points of views about a political situation.
I had thought I could finish this book, or at least enough of it to send to publishers by March. I am still going to aim for that deadline, but I doubt very much I would be able to get it to a place I am happy with. Seeing how far this process might be in the future, I know that I cannot carry on with this much concentration, and this much time spent on a daily basis. I need to find balance and compartmentalize my life. Otherwise I will just simply burn out and have a messy apartment, unreturned phone calls, and forgotten responsibilities.
I have no idea how to do that either. I spent so many years not knowing how to write a book, and didn't know where to start, and at this point, I don't know how to stop, or write in a way that allow my life to go smoothly. Such irony.