This is how it used to be. I’d start a book, get bored with it, start another, get bored with it, start another, get… well, you see the pattern, don’t you?
That’s the way I used to work. And it didn’t really pay off in the end, which is to say it didn’t result in too many finished novels. (Seven novels finished in 16 years = over two years per novel.)
After Vicky came along, that changed greatly. I’ve finished five novels in the last year and a half. (Five novels in 18 months = over three months per novel… wow!)
I knew that had to end sometime.
Um, it did.
See, here’s the thing. I don’t know how many of you heard about this (I don’t think I posted it) but the idea for the next book was something I was calling “My Side – The Movie”… no, not as the real title, just the concept. The idea was what if someone made a movie about a very personal blog, forcing the blogger to relive all of the events. I thought it would make a good, and possibly funny, idea.
But then, there were so many questions I had to resolve. Writing books is a lot about resolving issues and many of those issues have to be worked out in your head before you being writing.
And I wanted to write… NOW!… Right now! (You know, because I have the time!)
So, waiting was out of the question.
I sat down and asked myself, “Ken, what do you want to write more than anything else?” The answer came quickly, if disappointingly: A Philosophical Novel. If you know me, you know that philosophy is an important component in my life. It’s something I can do.
My first philosophical novel, Revelations, helped me resolve the apparent disparity between Christianity and Christians, the religion that teaches love and tolerance and the masses of people who profess to believe those teaching who are so filled with hate. My second philosophical novel, Vampire Society, helped me deal with the problems of materialism and how it is used to replace what we need, rather than fulfill our needs. I wanted to do that again, to say something meaningful, to address some fundamental issue in my life and so many others…
But it’s not marketable.
So, I began writing a new horror novel.
And it was pretty good. In fact, I realized this morning that it was a lot like many other horror novels/stories/movies I’ve read/heard/seen…
And that killed it.
Yes, I can write a horror novel just like many others – and it will be just as marketable as many others – but is that what I really want to do? Write like other people?
It killed it.
Because I realized that, more than anything, I want to write what’s important to my heart. I believe writing can make a difference, stories can make a difference, and I want to do that.
I started thinking about all the things I haven’t accomplished in my life and how, being out of work, I find myself back on square one. This gap, this unnamable something, burned away inside of me. What does it mean to accomplish something? What is the driving force that compels us away from peace and acceptance in the hope of attaining… what?
So, I put the horror novel away.
I haven’t started the next thing.
Or have I?
I need to reconcile myself. I need to find out where I am.
… Many of us feel this terrible regret at having reached a certain age (in my case, middle age) with nothing to show for it. Some of us ignore it and accept our lot. What do they know? What do they not know?
Maybe I have started something.
I’ll keep you posted.