Saturday, 3 March 2012

Moving On From A Bad Project

I was going to use novels instead of projects in the title but considering not all writers write novels, I decided to stick with projects.

Throughout my time as a writer, I have worked on a large number of different projects from short stories to novels. Some of them I was close to for a long time and some of them, I was never keen on. But I tried to work on all of them. I was eager to make them work. Why?

Because at that time, I was convinced that it could turn out well and maybe they might have if I had spent longer on it. But as I have progressed in my writing, I have learnt that not everything turns out like I want it to. Sometimes, I have found myself working on a project that:
- doesn't interest me
- is underdeveloped
- makes very little sense

If a project is anything like the points above then I will usually ditch it and only come back to it if I get another mini-idea that sparks the project off again.

This has resulted in me having a lot of unfinished works.

At the time of the ditching, it was rather painful to let go of something I was once passionate about and I go through what I call the break-up stage where I don't feel good.

But then my sadness disappears when I get another idea. And this idea is good. It's new. It's fresh. And most of all, I love it. And then I begin writing again.

Looking back on these writings, I was very young and inexperienced. I feel like I've learnt a lot then but I can also see what I've left behind. I see my old self in my writing and I miss that old self. I used to have more confidence. I was more creative. And I was happy in my own skin.

Now, things are different. Life has changed. I have changed. I've faced problems. I've had to deal with the bad times and I've had to do my best to hang on to the good times.

I love my newer projects and I wish to complete some of them one day but I will never forget my older works. They were once a part of me and I will do my best to hold on. I won't ever go back to some of those stories but the ideas and the characters will stay with me forever.

Do you ever remember your old ideas and stories? Do you still have them? What do you think of them?


  1. I've got about ten or twelve novels I've written at least one draft of. Many of them will never be finished. I'm hardly the same person, now that I'm 65, that I was when I was in my twenties. But it's all part of our growth and development. You're 19. You're almost too young to reach success. As long as the dream stays with you and you try, one day you will come to maturity as a writer. It will be a very good day.

    1. That's got to be a lot of drafts! 45 years would obviously change a lot in a person but did your writing change drastically or distinctively in a ten year time period?

      I feel so young now!

    2. It has changed a bit. I've transistioned from a literary writer to a more contemporary way of writing, writing to reach an audience instead of just to please myself.

  2. Most of my childhood saw me writing fiction based on other works (fan fiction, that is), and not until my teenage years did I start working on bigger projects like novels and short stories. There are a few novels I never finished - they really never got past 20 pages - and it isn't as though I didn't have ideas or wasn't interested in them when I stopped...simply said, there were bigger, more involving, more endearing books I wanted to write.
    And no, I wasn't planning on returning to those books anytime soon!

    1. I never saw the fascination with fanfiction. I like my own characters way more than someone else's.

      That's the problem too many writers face.

      Good luck with writing!

  3. I have countless old ideas. Some are still planned to be brought to life; others are in what I have long-dubbed the recycle bin. Although I've had to trash some ideas, there will sometimes be aspects about them that can be used later for other projects--in other words, recycled! (One of those projects was actually formed entirely from recycled plots and characters. XD) It can be hard to say goodbye to certain ideas, but it's not necessarily goodbye forever, so that gives me comfort.

    1. I like the idea of a recycle bin. Because I often steal ideas from old ideas and reinvent them for a new project.

      I thought I was the only one who did that!


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