Hey everyone. I have many things swarming around in that head of mine, that all together lead me to ask the question in the title.
So… Story time. Sort of. It's fine if you don't read it and just answer the question, though a bit of context may go a long way:P
You see, I love writing, that much is obvious. Ever since I was a little kid, when someone would ask me: "What do you want to be when you grow up?", I always replied with the only obvious answer. I wanted to be a writer, of course. Duh… Old people and their silly questions.
Of course, as years passed I learned it wasn't going to be so easy. Between the age of 14 and 16 though, I finished the first project I could actually call a novel and I tried to get it published. Mostly for fun, but also as a simple test. I didn't approach any super well-known publishers, but I eventually ended up getting it published by a relatively small, on-demand printing, mostly web-based publisher and I sold 100 or so copies. Of course, that isn't a lot, but without any kind of promotion and such, it did give me some confidence.
I had a plan in mind; this novel would be the first in a series of 8. I finished the first draft for the sequel when I was 18, but by that time I could barely even look at novel 1 anymore. Why? Well, quite a bit had changed in my writing style between the ages of 14 and 18. I thought that if I'd want to continue, I would first want to rewrite novel 1. Thoroughly. However, I didn't feel like doing so. Instead, I opted to take a break from that world (as I write fantasy) and to try some different ideas.
All of those ideas, no matter if I had just 1 page of them finished, or 200, ended up getting deleted. I had figured out that I wanted to work with many of these ideas, mainly the 'main' idea surrounding most of them. I only didn't really know where I wanted to go with them. Until about 2 years ago, when I was 23 years old. I knew how to mix and match ideas I liked, where I wanted to take the story, for the most part and more importantly, I knew what I didn't want to do with it.
So, it was summer and I had just quit university due to personal reasons. I never had much time for writing during the week, for obvious reasons (and I easily get plagued by stress-induced headaches for days on end). I decided I wanted to find a decent job, also for personal reasons, but in the meantime, I could use my days to write this new story down.
I decided that I would write it in English, not my native language, but that would be good practice. And I started. And I worked diligently on it for about a week and then suddenly I got a job offer and soon enough, I spent my days in an office, doing anything but writing my story. Every day I would get home too tired to think of anything to write. Weekends were often used to catch up with friends and family, to play a game, watch a movie, or yes, to try and write something down. Or even to learn Japanese, something else I had become interested in. I'm really interested in way too many things…
Anyway, months passed without me really making any progress at all. Then eventually I forced myself back into it and it went alright for a while. Only, then my job changed, my parents moved into a new house, I moved out and some other stuff happened and I was again standing still.
Now I'm in a 6 week trip in Japan and when I get back home, I'll start at yet another job. For the past 2 months, I've been trying to get back into my story, which I would say is almost 200 pages long by now. The problem is, all of a sudden I doubt whether I really want where it has gone, after all. I doubt everything, from my English, to my world building, to the very core of my story. It's making me feel detached, as if I don't want to continue. Yet in the other hand, I do think I'm actually happy with what it is. I know I can edit everything I want once the first draft is finished anyway and I put it down right before a part that was so epic in my mind when I first came up with it, that I almost wet myself. But not only do I have this "continue vs don't continue" struggle going on right now, no that'd be too 'easy'. The thing is, I always have tons of ideas for different stories. I jot them down, or spin them in a way so that I can include them into what I'm currently writing, but I try to always work on just one project. Otherwise, it will never get done. I already feel like I've been 'standing still' for too many years. Yet… I suddenly feel like it's a waste to not do anything with those other ideas. I suddenly feel like there are 5 others stories I want to write, all at once. I suddenly feel like choosing has become impossible.
And with all of this combined, I really am stuck, can't really put myself to do anything and… It's making me sad. What would you do, in my case? Or of course, what do you do when you feel detached, when you want to write multiple things, or when things in your life happen that make you completely lose your flow? For me, it's always very hard to return after a few weeks, or worse, months of not having touched the story. Especially now, with how I currently feel. Yet I can't look left or right here in Japan without getting some flash of inspiration. It seems like a waste to not do anything with it. But I just… Can't put myself to do anything with any of it. Even though I know that deep down, it is still the one thing in this world I want to keep doing, more than anything else. I want to keep writing.
Sorry for this wall. Also, excuse any possible strange auto corrections. I wrote this on my phone 😀
Source: reddit post