Thursday, December 22, 2011

Whether to finish what we've started or to start something new.

Last year I wrote a blog about this topic: I discussed the value of polishing and finishing what we've started over going to something new before finishing what we've already started. So, here I sit, a year later, still working on the same novel. Is that patience, or what? And when you consider that I've actually been working on this novel in one form or another for over five years, well, that's a lot of patience.

Once again, I'm chomping at the bit to start something new. I so much want to do so. I so much want to move on to new characters, new ideas, new schemes, etc. But is it wise to do so? Is it better to keep working on this same novel, especially when I'm pretty close to finishing it? Tanya Reimer has read it and given me valuable feedback, which is what I'm now incorporating into the, hopefully, last draft. It is really, only months away from being finished if I can just keep working on it, not give up.

This novel is pretty long, though it'll be shortened a bit, thanks to Tanya's sharp eye. But in the future, I want my novels to be shorter. Say, about 80,000 words max. I want to be able to finish a novel within one year, maybe even six months. I'm sixty-five years old, not getting any younger. Am I running out of time? I hope not, but you never know.

I wrote another post: I praised the value of making it when you're younger, which is difficult to do as a writer. It's lack of life experience (which is a debatable topic, to say the least, but it's the way I feel). Making it young as a writer is getting published (by the traditional method) maybe in you late twenties or early thirties. But, you can make it any time, really, in your fifties, sixties, seventies, eighties, and, with the aid of collaborative authors (James Patterson, and many other older writers are doing it) you can write until your dying breath. But, the value of making it when you're younger is unsurpassed for a comfortable writing life. But, that's out of the question for me. I'm no longer young. I am "running out of time." That's one of the reasons I've decided to self-publish from this point on. The years it takes to go through literary agents, if you can find one, and then the agent to find a publisher, if she can find one, then for the publisher to actually produce a book...well, I don't want to go that route any longer. Yet, I want my writing to be well done, as well as I can make it. So it's back to patience. Patience is priceless. I can only hope I don't run out of time.
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