Today I hate it!

Today–I.hate.my.novel.

I HATE IT!!!!!!!! It is a fifty ton weight around my neck. I want to toss it into the ocean, but then all I want to do is follow it to the depths. It’s like Frodo’s freaking ring. My prrrrrecious! Argh.

I keep thinking about how much of my life I’d get back if I weren’t so addicted to this novel. I’d have more psychic space! I’d have more SLEEPING time. I’d have more leisure time. My mind wouldn’t like, blow up because it’s trying to balance my day job responsibilities while trying to carve out space so that I can imagine my novel’s world.

It sucks me down, some days. It really does.

Today, as I have been for at least a week now, I am totally stuck somewhere in the novel, sometime in the 1960’s in New York City with my characters. And we’re just milling about aimlessly, saying the lamest stuff to each other, like extras on a movie set.

Totally torturous.

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8 Comments

Filed under The Novel, Writing

8 responses to “Today I hate it!

  1. I am jealous that you are addicted to your novel. I think that is a good thing. I am fretting because I am so busy I keep forgetting my novel and that bothers me immensely.

  2. Oh wow, I just emailed you that today I became utterly sick of my novel. Had not read this post when i emailed that!

    Also am sick of my blog, and of all my interests and obsessions and tics. Really sick of it all. Not addicted to the novel – addicted to rejecting this novel. Have worked on it in fits and starts for so long. Three days ago was feeling happy about its shape, the arc of it. Read some to my cousin who wants more, more more.

    Yesterday looking it all over and thinking where to go next, what to fill in, what to deepen.

    Today looking at it (not writing?) suddenly felt tired and bored and full of ennui. Sick of my story. Also feeling that about half of it needs to get trashed.
    I diagnose fatigue. Chemo fatigue. Walked a good bit this morning, went to the library and shopped later; perhaps used up too much energy? Have been in bed since mid afternoon. When I’m tired I hate my work and feel depleted. It’s not a “real” feeling, it’s as if somebody else takes over and begins hating everything.

    Jane Smiley in her book on the novel (which is really a book of advice to novelists, with lots of book reviews) has a passage diagnosing boredom with your work and what to do about it. I will have to look it up.

  3. After my fit of ennui/hatred, I picked up Ondaatje’s Divisadero, and read a passage that spoke to me like an oracle or a wise friend:

    “For we live in those retrievals from childhood that coalesce and echo throughout our lives, the way shattered pieces of glass in a kaleidoscope reappear in new forms and are songlike in the refrains and rhymes, making up a single monologue. We live permanently in the recurrence of our own stories, whatever story we tell.” Divisadero, p. 136

    I’d been thinking of ditching everything from the narrator’s childhood and focusing on the ‘frame’ story only, because utterly sick of her story and her past and her childhood. This passage reminds me not to make any sudden, eviscerating moves.

  4. Argh! I sympathise! And guess what, me too. I’m stuck in Chapter Five, finding my protagonist banal.

    I just mailed my writing cheerleaders, saying “I’m having a crisis, please tell me one thing, even if it’s tiny, that you liked about Chapter Four so that I know it’s worth carrying on.”

    I KNOW it’s worth carrying on, but the doubt and the fear are sometimes almost too much to handle.

    Why is fiction writing SO HARD?

  5. w

    Jade, totally hearing you. At times like this, I toss the ugly thing aside and pick up a favorite book for inspiration which I’ve been reading on and off, giving myself a whole night of just reading and absorbing. Would doing something like that help?

    And Charlotte, I love that you asked your writing cheerleaders for this. I’ll have to remember to do that when I’m freaking out about a story, which should be around tomorrow night.

  6. Akrypti

    It’s a good sign. When the novel has ensnared you to such an extent, then it’ll have the same effect on future readers. It means the characters and places and events have come alive and are an entity of their own.

    If you had continued to keep control over the characters and the storyline, then the novel would come out affected, like oh so many novels we’ve seen.

    So take this is a really REALLY good sign. It means you’re onto something. It means these characters will be real and vivid to readers. It means the events go beyond the literal and if you believe in a form of deity or muse, it’s that thing giving you the sign, “don’t give up! you’re onto something!”

  7. yes, it is a good sign you are hatin’ the novel — you have something to hate, and since familiarity breeds contempt, it means you’ve spent a lot of time with it. but don’t confuse the message with the messenger. whatever that means.

    writing is like any other tumultuous relationship. if i didn’t love you, i’d hate you.

  8. I still hate my novel today. Maybe I will love it soon. Or maybe it’s time to move on to another project. Or maybe do nonfiction. Or…ugh, just stop writing for a long long time.

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