I’ve been feeling a little low about my novel-in-progress lately and couldn’t work out why. I should be feeling really positive: I’ve made more progress with it than anything else I’ve written to date, I’ve had expressions of interest in it and over the last month or so I’ve solved some problems and really settled into a groove with the writing.
And that’s the problem – the book is now, for better or worse, shaped. There is MUCH to do, both in terms of actual writing but also, I’m not saying that the plot or structure or themes are set in stone. I’m sure I’ll change many things as I write and redraft. But in finally pinning down a sense of what the book is about and what its tone is, I realise that that means letting go of some of the things it is not about and all the ways it is not going to be written. And that act of having to choose, of having to settle on certain things, is kind of sad.
When you first come up with an idea for a book, or a story, or even an article, it exists in its most perfect, ideal form. And if you never actually write it, it will always be in that form. But no one will get to read it. So I will try to push on with my imperfect book and let go of its unwritten perfection.