Blog Talk

Falling out of Love

I’m all out of love!

Today I want to write to you briefly about falling out of love.

Dramatic right!

This is very much a case of “I’ll get over it, I just need to be dramatic about it first”. Because there’s nothing wrong with being dramatic when people think you’re doing it ironically.

To get to the point, I am of course talking about writing.

In particular, a topic of writing that ties in quite nicely with my recent blog about burnout. This is often a symptom of burnout for me; not always but often enough that I’ve noticed the correlation.

I have fallen out of love with my current long-form WIP, A Walk in the Woods.

For me falling out of love with a work in progress can range on the emotional scale from “Oh well, that sucks. What’s next?” to “Oh God noooo, my only son!” it usually depends on my investment in the project.

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

Investment wise I’ve been working on Walk in the Woods for a couple years. I’ve spent a lot of time crafting my characters, themes, and settings etc., I’ve changed the plot more than once with additions and subtractions, and at the start of this year I paid a four-figure sum to have it edited (I said it’s long-form fiction, edits aren’t cheap but well worth it).

So, as you can imagine when I realized I was getting really sick of working on this, I went hardcore into denial about falling out of love. I made excuse after excuse, I’m tired today, this is a low point in the story so of course I’m fed up, maybe there’s something going on technically that I can change to spice it up, I’m not well this week my motivations bound to be affected etc. etc. the list goes on.

But last night I gave in when I had an idea for another long-form piece and immediately tried to make excuses as to why I can do that instead of Walk in the Woods. There’s nothing wrong with my motivation, it’s just this piece that’s dead.

But again, I circle back to the level of investment I’ve made. It’s damn high.

I can’t just let this die, right?

No. No way am I giving up.

As a compromise with myself, I have decided to take a break. Though to be honest this is my usual habit with long-form projects anyway. I normally keep putting them down at regular intervals, hence why it takes me so damn long to write anything of substance. Putting stuff down helps a lot; it helps me not lose motivation/love and it also helps spot obvious mistakes I might have missed if I looked at it constantly.

Anyway, why am I writing this to you? Am I that honestly that vain or arrogant that I think you’re chomping at the bit to know what projects I am taking breaks with and which I’m working on at the moment? I like to think not.

I am writing this for those of you who might be also experiencing ‘burnout’ or ‘falling out of love’ with a project.

Don’t give up on it, you’ve put a lot of work into it. But it is ok to take a break. It’s not a failure.

Try putting said project down for a couple weeks/months. Then pick it up again, if you still feel the same then put it back down, and take a longer break. Pick it up again and look at it in a year. Then another year, and another if need be.

I’m not saying every project deserves to be finished, but hey hard drives have lots of space and word documents are usually pretty small. It doesn’t hurt to hoard this shit.

An example of beneficial story hoarding!

I started writing The Grey House when I was in my twenties (I’m 36 now) and I put it down when I hit a brick wall with it after the second draft. Last night out of nowhere I had a wonderful new plan for it. There are a ton of changes, but it’s fundamentally the same idea and I’m excited about it.

So yeah, stories aren’t people, it’s okay to put them in a drawer or hard drive for months or even years.  You can always pick them back up.