I’ve decided I’m quitting writing my novel, Project BAN. It almost feels like I’m letting go of a long-term friendship/relationship.
I’ve shared my reasoning below to possibly help other writers who may be struggling to let go of writing projects that aren’t serving them anymore.
1. The Premise is 10+ Years Old
The idea for Project BAN stems from a fanfiction I wrote when I was 14-15 years old. I based most of my fanfiction around songs, and this one was about Wale’s song “Diary”, from 2009.
The story idea has been living in my head rent-free for over a decade. I’m more attached to it than passionate about it.
With completing a novel-length first draft, I’ve taken this idea farther than I’ve ever thought it would go. I’m sure 14-year-old Nia would be proud of me. I’ve learned that letting go/quitting/taking time away from ideas is an important part of the writing process. Quitting writing my novel is the best decision for me.
2. It Doesn’t Bring Me Joy/Aid My Learning
Since I came up with the idea so young, I didn’t understand the gravity of the subject matter I was writing about. With the COVID-19 pandemic being our new normal, I have no mental space for things that don’t bring me joy.
Although I’ve been writing all my life, I’ve only recently begun learning about storytelling and ways to become a better writer. It’s difficult for me to focus on putting what I learn to practice (developing characters, implementing story beats, etc.) when I’m dealing with such a complex story.
3. I’m Eager to Try New Things
As a writer, I want to try everything (short fiction, screenplays, poetry, etc.). I also want to explore fiction writing in different ways (tenses, characters, genres, plots, etc.). I can never know what truly works for me if I always have a foot in the past. Even after spending Labor Day Weekend away from Project BAN, I already have new ideas I want to explore.
I’m not the type of person who can work on multiple creative writing projects at a time. It’s hard to generate new ideas when I’m constantly thinking about my “main” project.
I also want to read more, which will help me figure out what I’m interested in writing.
4. I Want to Be Fresh for NaNoWriMo
As of September 2020, I plan on participating in November’s NaNoWriMo. If I keep forcing my way through Project BAN, I’m going to be burned out by the time NaNoWriMo rolls around. For September and October, I want to spend time exploring writing while maintaining a consistent writing routine. Hopefully, when November 1st comes, I can begin a beautiful, crappy first draft on an all-around better story.
If you are struggling to let a story go, I’m here to tell you that it’s okay sis! Don’t feel guilty about it. Save it in a few places (external hard drive, emailing it to yourself, Google Drive, etc.) and put that big, beautiful creative energy towards something new.
Have you ever had trouble quitting writing a project? I’d LOVE to hear about your experiences. Let me know in the comments section below!
If you would like to read more about my writing journey, I’d recommend my posts about my Camp NaNo project, music I listen to while writing, or my August writing goals!
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