For the past three months, I’ve been slaving over rewriting THH, and a lot of times I wanted to just give up and send it to Summit Media as it is. It was a constant struggle to keep myself motivated to rewrite and edit something I no longer feel passionate about, but now I’m glad to say that after so many sleepless, caffeine-driven nights, I’m finally done with it.
Okay, so maybe not yet, considering that the production of the book hasn’t even begun yet (working on the cover and some edits from the Summit Media editors, etc.), but I did send the “final” manuscript today and I am so, so glad.
One of main reasons why I found it so hard to edit it is because I feel like I’m no longer the same person who wrote it. Sure, it might have only been less than a year since I finished writing it, but in the span of the few months that have passed, I feel like I’ve learned and grown a lot as a writer.
And so it goes without saying that the person I am now would never have written something like THH. The plot, the characters, the language–I hate them all. (Well, maybe hate is too strong of a word to use, but still.) If it was up to me, I would have preferred not to get it published in the first place, but the contracts have been signed, and the opportunity was too good to pass up on.
In addition, I didn’t want to take away its essence for the sake of the readers who read it first on Wattpad, so even though I wanted to change it completely, I chose not to.
I admit that I’m not a good writer. At least, I’m not good enough to actually get a publishing contract. I see lots of stories on Wattpad that are way better than mine and I’ve talked to writers whose stories deserve to be placed on a shelf next to David Levithan’s or Jennifer E. Smith’s works but haven’t had much luck in jump-starting their careers as writers. And I’m aware that I’m not even half as good as they are.
Which is why I’ve taken it upon myself to make sure I’ll do my best to improve as a writer; to acknowledge my weaknesses and do something to address them–to step out of my comfort zone and try to write something that I can truly be proud of. It’s the only way I can honestly be happy for myself; the only way I can tell myself that I deserve this opportunity.
This, however, brings me to the other story I’ve been working on for almost a year now. I started writing The Possibility of Chance Encounters last year July and to date, it has 70,000 words to it. Its readership response is overwhelming and it fares fairly well on Wattpad.
But I’m no longer the same person who wrote it last year.
This is why it’s been so hard for me to continue writing it. I keep seeing its flaws and mistakes and I no longer connect with the story. I’m too painfully aware of the plot holes and the questionable plot points, and the thought of continuing it makes me feel like I’m trying to transform an already spoiled dish to a high-class gourmet meal meant to be served in a five star hotel.
Bottomline is that I can’t continue writing it.
However, when I scroll down and look through the comments, I always feel guilty, and I try to motivate myself to finish it. I would open the Word file and try to write the next chapter, but I find myself second-guessing every element of the story, and I just can’t do it. It’s not that I don’t want to, it’s that I can’t.
At least not now.
So I’ve decided to put it on an indefinite hold. Maybe I just need to get some time away from it. Maybe I just need to get my writing back on track (because I’ve genuinely been unhappy about my writing lately). Maybe I just need to take a step back and try to breathe for a moment.
The pressure to continue writing it is suffocating, but I know I owe the readers an ending, so I’m not entirely deleting it. I just need to work on something that I’m genuinely passionate about–something that makes me feel like I have to write this, or else I might explode.
That comes in the form of the new story I’m planning to work on soon. It still holds a semblance of my past stories (read: cliched and formulaic), but I’m planning on easing into this “new territory,” so I might as well start small and work my way from there.
If any of you are readers of THH, then you’re all probably aware of the fact that Kyla’s father died from cancer when she was young. The whole dynamic of THH only worked because of this and while I was rewriting the final draft for it, I found myself adding in a bit of his story, and suddenly I found myself facing that “spark” that made me think “I NEED TO WRITE THIS.”
Before I knew it, I’d already planned the whole novel from the first chapter to the last one(which is something I’d never even done before, considering that I’m a pantser) and I’ve resolved to write that first.
I sincerely apologize for being unable to update TPOCE. I promise that I’ll do my best to reconnect with it in the future–I swear I will–but I’m hoping you’ll allow me this change of pace because writing it feels like a chore, and if I’m not happy with what I’m doing , then why should I subject myself to writing it?
I just need to work on something that will remind me why I wanted to write in the first place.