A year or two ago I had a job that I really hated but knew that I should stay in. Whatever I did I couldn’t seem to justify leaving. Then someone suggested I wrote a pro’s and con’s list. Mine went something like this:
15 – 20 very sensible and practical reasons to stay.
I hate it.
Now, to most people that looks like a very obvious outcome. It’s a great job; suck it up and get on with it! However, to me I just knew when I saw the word ‘hate’ in my own writing that I needed to leave. I don’t know whether it’s the process of writing a list or weighing up either side but a pro’s and con’s list always helps me see things clearly.
Recently, I’ve been having a bit of a love/hate relationship with the book I’ve been writing. My self-appointed editor went through it the other day and said “I think you need to rework your plot and characters.” I could have cried! In fact, maybe I did. It was totally heart-breaking. My project has a disease and the only way to cure it is to chop off a good chunk of writing (possibly all of it) and start again. From scratch. Nooooooooooooooooooo!
So, naturally, I’ve been toying with the idea of putting my project to rest and I desperately need a bit of clarity on my decision. To the pro’s and con’s list it is!
Pros of Saying Farewell to My Book
I’ve lost love for writing it.
I know I’m going to have to start from scratch… More than once.
I’m not sure I will ever finish it.
My characters aren’t clear.
My plot is a bit limp.
There’s so much work to do!
There’s no guarantee’s it will go anywhere even if I finish writing it.
Cons of Quitting My Book
It’s not meant to be easy.
It’s a learning curve.
I’m sure there are ways to get that passion for writing back (I hope…)
This self-hating, hopeless, desperate feeling I’ve got it is what ‘real’ writers talk about all the time. Maybe that’s just part of it!
This is the longest I’ve ever stuck with one idea – that must mean something!
If I don’t finish it, who says I’ll finish the next book I start?
I’ve got lots of support to finish it.
I love the concept.
I love my characters and I know I’ll love them even more when they’re fully formed.
I’ve told everyone I know I’m writing it. EVERYONE!
I’m not a quitter! (Not including playing Monopoly)
It’s 11 – 7 to the ‘Cons’.
Though, the Pros do look very appealing right now…
However, there’s something familiar about the ‘Pros’, they’re all spoken in the voice of ‘teenage me’. I can see it now: ‘I can’t do it! *stomps foot, pouts and crosses arms*
The cons are written in a voice which is a combination of my Dad being supportive and Robin WIlliams in Good Will Hunting. (What a combo!)
As much as quitting is really appealing to me right now, so are most the things worth doing at some point.
Maybe I just need a new approach… (suggestions welcome!)
Ah, ‘Pros and Cons List’, you put everything into perspective!