I finished reading The Left Hand of Darkness three weeks ago and was distraught for days – partially because of what happened in the book, but also because I had the realization that I may be writing the wrong stuff entirely.
Yeah, I’m having another writing crisis.
Samael is very different from what I’m typically interested in writing, and also from what I’ve posted on this website. For the past few weeks, I’ve had the horrible feeling that I’m wasting my time writing stuff that I don’t actually want or even like to write. It would explain why I’ve had such little success actually finalizing stories ever since I started writing in my early teens.
Maybe what I’ve spent the majority of the last 14 years doing is…forcing myself to write stuff I have no actual interest in writing.
The Land of Two Moons was really easy to write. Not only was it easy, it was fun to write. The Book of Immortality was less easy, but I would still consider my time spent writing and editing it to be enjoyable. It didn’t feel like a slog, which is what working on Samael currently feels like.
I’d hate to set Samael aside. I finished the outline and if I try very hard, I can have most of the story written by the end of the year. I really, really want to get this story done so I can have something to serialize on this website again.
I think I’ve bought into the sunk cost fallacy a little too much. I’m not enjoying this. I’m not being paid. The only thing I’ve invested into Samael is time, and I highly doubt putting more time into it is going to make me like it more.
I think I’m going to spend the rest of the month working on something that actually I actually enjoy thinking about.
Long story short, there really isn’t a crisis anymore. I’ve simply decided to ignore the problem of genre and write whatever I want to write.
Honestly, I’ve been too busy this past month with non-writing things to worry about writing. I haven’t even had the time to actually write anything. I suppose this is a good thing, since I’m focusing on “actual” problems in my life.
I’m sorry that this update is so short, but I literally have nothing else to say!
For most of my life, I thought that the genres I wanted to write in were science fiction and fantasy – primarily science fiction. As I got older, genre conventions and limitations became something I cared less and less about, and I shifted to saying that I wanted to write speculative fiction. Speculative fiction covers science fiction and fantasy as well as a few other genres, so essentially anything I wrote could fall under it.
About three weeks ago, I had a thought. What if what I want to write can’t really be considered science fiction? I honestly thought I was fine writing speculative fiction and not science fiction. Despite my best efforts, this thought took hold in my brain and has not let go.
I know these labels are a marketing tool. I know they don’t actually matter while I’m writing. But I can’t stop thinking that maybe what I thought I wanted to do isn’t what I actually want to do.
Then, a week ago, I had some more thoughts that furthered this problem: what if I don’t really want to write speculative fiction, either? What if I actually want to write weird fiction or literary fiction? Is that why I’ve been able to finish so few of my stories? Is it why I lose interest so quickly?
I seem to be going through the writer version of a mid-life crisis.