I made a very difficult decision last week. I decided to let my novel go.
This was a novel I started writing back in 2010. It was a historical thriller set in D.C. during WW2. I really liked my characters and the plot at the time, but halfway through, I got bogged down by how complicated it all was. While I always like to include some kind of suspense in my novels, writing a thriller was quite difficult.
So I abandoned it. I wrote two other novels and one got me my agent. So I don't regret letting it go.
However, I would go back and read it every so often and get excited about it again. I decided to give it another go. So I took some time to hammer out all the plot details, all the twists and turns. Finally, I had it figured out.
I went back to the novel and had to scrap a bunch of previous writing, which I was expecting to do. But for some reason, I had an incredibly difficult time just getting myself to open the Word document. I did a few things to try and combat this - including coloring which I highly recommend if you're stuck or just need a writing break - and for awhile, it would work.
But something still wasn't right.
After a few months of torment, I finally realized that while I love to read thrillers, I can't write them.
It was a hard realization.
There's relief and disappointment in this decision; relief because I don't have to torture myself anymore and disappointment because I couldn't get it to work.
But a new novel idea has taken form, one that is definitely not a thriller, and I'm eagerly looking forward to writing it.
Sometimes, you just have to let a project go. And maybe in the future, you'll be able to pick it up again. But if not, that's okay, too. There is no wasted writing. All of it contributes to our experience in some way, shape, or form.