Sunday, August 8, 2010

When Old Stories Attack...

It's a funny thing... this business of trying to forge a name for yourself as a creative force to be reckoned with. I could go on and on about how real life gets in the way, how procrastination continually rears its ugly head, blah blah blah. But to be honest, I'm getting kind of sick of hearing myself whine about the hardships of making the time and mustering up the motivation to progress with my writing. For those of you who have yet to reach this breaking point, check the archives for my previous posts. I think it's safe to say that I've beaten that point to a bloody pulp long ago.

Anyway, on to the business at hand... even though my apartment search, full-time job and burgeoning social life have cut into the amount of man-hours I've been devoting to my creative writing i.e. the kind I'm NOT getting paid for (at least, not, I know that I need to be returning to my dust-covered novel. It's been so long since I paid a visit to my cynical, world-weary protagonist that he's probably starting to resent me for it.

Yet, while I should be filled with a sense of obligation to better realize the universe he inhabits, I am instead finding myself drawn back to another story. Call it creative infidelity if you want, but I keep feeling like this tale - which I previously started but never finished as a screenplay - is screaming to finally be told. I've told some of you that it is my intention to turn this semiautobiographical coming-of-age love story into a trilogy of novellas. And Lord knows that the pages and pages of notes I have are more than enough material to coalesce into an AMAZING story if executed properly.

But here's my quandary: The writing gods always say never to actively begin work on another project whilst your current one remains unfinished. I've already broken this commandment once, and I'm hesitant to let the novel lie for a while longer to tell this much more personal story. However, at the same time, I don't want to let this inspiration slip me by if I'm finally ready to build enough momentum with this project to get it done.

So, in my dilemma, I turn to you, fellow writers. Should I push myself to revise my novel and get that 100% ready to go first or should I allow it to rest comfortably on the backburner while I return to my pet project, which has been simmering in some form or another for the better part of a decade?

Sound off in the comments.. and, as always, happy writing!!!



  1. Yo-RJ here. Don't be afraid to go where that inspiration is taking you. If you need to start something else, get cracking! You can always jump back to where you were. Remember, Tarentino had Inglorious Bastards in his mind for like 15 years, yet his mind was in various projects. But keep in mind--finish that damn novel!!! Shit was really entertaining. Looking forward to see how it all ends.

  2. These are interesting questions. I say, it is better to be between many projects instead of stuck on one. The previous comment said, is absolutely true. You can go back to the novel. You can use that bursting creativity to write what you want. Writing should be fun, not stressful. Ha ha. Good luck :)