I Have Commited The Cardinal Sin

So, I was visiting with a friend and she asked what my new novel was about. I know. I hate getting this question. I love that people want to show support by asking me about my work, but lord I do not know how to answer this. I always feel like I have two options:

  1. Tell her, but I am terrible, actually terrible, about giving a synopsis.
  2. Tell her that I can’t because discussing it always seems to jinx every writer that I know. As soon as the aforementioned writer says something about a work that’s not ready to be discussed it inadvertently always kills the spark to work on it.

Well, I told her, so my bad synopsis of the story elicited some weird facial expressions, and–because I didn’t want to be mean and say no– it has killed all motivation for continuing to work on it.

I feel like I’ve stabbed myself in the back. Twice.

I’ve tried working on it now that I’m settled back in my parent’s house for the holidays, but between wanting to spend time with the family–and not really wanting to accept the fact that I may have killed my mojo for the story–I haven’t tried too hard to work on it.

My previous story was….weird. The concept was weird. The main character was deliberately hard to get along with, and I think that me telling my friend about it too early may have me second guessing whether it’s worth following through on.

It’s funny because when I was getting my Masters you basically had to talk about your thesis idea from the get-go. And maybe I’m jinxing myself by simply thinking that I’ve broken some cardinal rule, but the reluctance to work on this new novel is nothing made up. I think I also knew that no matter how bad my synopsis sounded people would still read the work. People were always willing to be encouraging, and I think that I might have gotten nervous because the first (albeit too early) attempt at explaining this novel ended up being rather pitiful.

I did have a good idea for another story one night when I couldn’t sleep that I’m thinking of working on in the meantime. I’m wondering that if I spend some time away from the story that it will give me some needed breathing room. The other side of me says that I should just work on it regardless of how hesitant I am because then I feel as if I’m just giving up without really trying.

I could really use some help. I’m starting to doubt whether it will ever get back off the ground. I was giving myself a deadline that in the next three years I wanted to have a concrete draft done so that I could start looking for a serious editor and agent to work with me.

Maybe I’m overthinking it (shocker), but I’m feeling rather uncertain about how to move forward with my manuscript right now.

Does anyone have any suggestions to help me get back to work?


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

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