Let me begin this post by saying that I'm angry and probably angry at myself.
I thought I had a book. I thought I had something worth writing again, at the end of the year, like I have had for the past three years--but after three attempts, full whiteboards worth of brainstorming, and 8000 words, I realise I don't.
I think what I have is a potential short-story collection, but the nature of a short-story collection is very different to that of a novel, in a way that means I can't bang it out in a month. I think that's a long-term 2016 project, which is exciting in and of itself. So I suppose, thinking about it, this is not a loss. It's just a delay.
Let me lay out a timeline of the past week:
Sat 14. I wake up hungover and depressed. I have a book to write. I start it. Shit gets weird real quick and is less than inspiring. I keep writing because I know where I want this all to go. But it doesn't go there, and I realise that what I want to write could be captured in a better way than through a cross-desert journey down the Australian East Coast.
Tues 17. I retire the first version of this book after things get really whack and totally zero-dimensional. It had a great name though.
Fri 20. I try again. I try to reframe the story in a post-apocalyptic desert town called Kanyaka Station (which is also the title of the book). I port the exact characters over from 'And May We Never Die', and that goes down in flames pretty quick.
Sat 21, 11am. I start from scratch, this time just keeping the town. But 1000 words in I have a voiceless husk of something that could potentially be great. It begins to dawn on me that I am constructing a short story collection rather than a novel. Uh oh.
Sat 21, 1pm. I start writing the book from the perspective of a building.
Sat 21, 1:15pm. I retire the book.
This last project, minus the perspective of a building, has a great deal of potential. I just don't have the research or planning down to make it what it could be, because what it could be is really special. So that's gonna be 2016. Right now, it's titled: 'Drawing Water From a Mountain', but maybe that's just because writing this fucking thing has been like drawing water from a stone, and Kanyaka means stone, and Kanyaka Station was a city destroyed by drought, which resonates with the creative drought I currently have going on.
I don't know what's going on.
Is it that I worked so hard all year, got sick for over a month, studied for exams, and now I'm expecting myself to write a book? I planned the fucking thing but it's not coming out. I don't feel a drive or a necessity to write the book--so should I not write it, you know, to avoid the trap of writing a book in 2015 only because I wrote one in 2012, in 2013, in 2014? Each one of those books I wrote for a reason, to release something from myself.
I'm not sure what I have right now.
Maybe I'm a bit of a mess.
Maybe I have to figure some shit out before I write about figuring some shit out.
What the fuck is wrong with me.
I'm just so scared of not being prolific, you know?