I have never been a hope-springs-eternal kind of person. Never. If anything, I learned early on that failure and despair were so much easier to attain than success that they might as well just be sought out in its place. Why climb a ladder, when you can just as easily scuttle your way sideways to the non-triumphant ending. The journey’s shorter and your hopes don’t get dashed along the way.
And once you begin that journey of expected failure, a rut begins to form in the ground beneath you. It constantly leads you down that same path. Until you figure out a way to crawl up out of it. Until you give yourself permission to succeed, permission to aim for success. Until you give yourself grace. You can only break that pattern–that rut–once you begin to believe in yourself and in failure’s opposite and your right to it.
Anyway. I find myself at the end of a two-year battle with a novel I had to eventually chuck away. I swear, I will never look back on it again. My first missed deadline, my first broken contract.
And because I found a way to crawl out of that rut I dug out for myself early on, I’m going to give it another go. I’m now, once again, at the beginning of something. Starting fresh.
New words. New story. I’m trying to ease my way in… to have a soft landing into this new world I’m creating. In truth, my hopes for it are almost non-existent. I took such a beating with this failed novel, that it’s almost like I can’t imagine myself writing another word ever again.
But, hope really does spring eternal. That’s why I dove in to this new project. I need to break the cycle. I need to believe that just because I failed once, it doesn’t mean I’ll fail again. I don’t want to stop writing. I love writing. It was the story I grew to hate, not the process. I took a story and tried to bend it to the will of the publisher who didn’t want it in the form in which I created it. To be clear, this wasn’t the publisher’s fault. They’re a great publisher. It’s my fault for turning my back on the story in order to get the contract. I tried to reinvent a story that did not want to be reinvented.
There are never any guarantees that state just because you begin a novel that you will see it through to its ending. Many a novels have crashed and burned before completion. Lesson learned. The hard way.
I guess I learn all my lessons the hard way. Not that I’m a fan of that process, it’s just what happens. It’s frustrating, but it’s who I am.
I scrapped the novel. It’s gone. Without a trace. And now I write this blog post to hold myself accountable to what comes next. To remind myself to keep going.
As the song goes…