In most of my blog entries, I’ve tended to answer the questions that I posed, but for this one, I’m going to say upfront that I have no idea whatsoever. And this is a concern for me, for a number of reasons.
First, I like the sense of satisfaction and accomplishment that comes with ending a story. The idea that you’ve set right what went wrong in the conflict (though most times I couldn’t even reach the conflict). It’s like watching a TV show or reading a book to its end; it’s strange to stop halfway without a resolution. All I feel when I stop writing halfway is a feeling of disappointment that I didn’t let my characters develop in the way I wanted them to.
Second, I want to show off what I’ve written to the public, and it’s difficult to present something that isn’t complete. And you can’t get feedback and perform a second round of edits, all those things that professional authors do. Most importantly, you can’t submit your work for competitions. You wouldn’t call yourself an author without a portfolio to prove it.
Third, it’s really annoying to start a new story whenever you feel like writing. Most of the time in my planning stage, I pretty much establish all my character features and mark out the beginning, ending and such. This process can take days, and all comes to naught when I don’t write it out. And the next time I must spend days puzzling out a new story again.
Some of you may wonder by now why I can’t just compel myself to keep writing, rather than flail helplessly when work after work vanishes into dust. I wonder that too, honestly, but there’re times when I’m so busy or stressed that I can’t write anything good, and then it takes me months before my writing mojo comes back, in which time I end up wondering how I ever thought that tale was workable.
Well, follow the advice of some authors then, you may say. Just keep writing even if you don’t feel like it. I have also tried that, but it ended up piling so much stress on me and taking so much time that I really felt much more relaxed after stopping. Perhaps I’m not a persistent or perseverant person. In that case, this is indeed a flaw I must work on. If I can finish assignments and tasks, stories should not get me down!
If anyone has ways to help me get my stories completed, or if you share the same experience and I am not alone, tell me! I would love to be able to write on top of my busy schedule.
For some reason I think the reason I stop writing is because writing exhausts me. I guess that in psychological terms, writing is not my flow. I don’t feel deeply energised or engrossed when writing. However, this makes it harder but not impossible! Someday I aim to balance both writing quantity and quality, that is, I can deliver long stories that are also good. Currently it looks like a time investment, and a commitment to focus on only that 1 story at a time. Would that be the solution? How do I prevent from falling out of love with my own stories?