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Getting Sick of Your Own Book: A Writer's Perspective

Updated on June 14, 2014

What is this bunk?

"What is this bunk?" That's what I think, now, when I edit the novella that I wrote during a one-month writing challenge (Camp NaNoWriMo, to be more specific) back in April. Back then, I thought my book was okay. Sure, I believed there were some weak parts that needed to be fixed up, but I was generally happy when I laid my eyes upon the pages (which, since the book has not been published yet, still make their home within Microsoft Word). I was proud of myself for making the 50,000 word goal for the challenge, since to my recollection, I hadn't even finished a 10,000 word piece before!

Some writers I spoke to, who had also completed the challenge, said that they had started to hate their masterpieces during the tail end of the writing process. Fortunately, I hadn't gotten to that point while writing, or else I may not even have finished. Even after I started editing, I still was rather satisfied with what I was reading, even when pretending that I was someone else other than myself. I thought that maybe I was immune to the "sickness" that seems to befall a lot of writers, beginning to loathe one's own creations.

However, that was not the case! After I'd edited the first four chapters, and was doing my first edit of chapter five a week or so ago, I started having thoughts like, "Wow, these characters are so lame," or, "Seriously, who does that?" when it came to their actions. That second thought quickly turned to, "Why did you make them do that?" These kinds of thoughts came up more and more often as I went through chapters six and seven, until I almost wanted to laugh at how utterly ridiculous my book now sounded to me. Now, when I talk about it sounding ridiculous, I don't mean the grammar, spelling, sentence structure, or anything like that. I still think that is great, especially after the proofreading I've done. I'm talking about the non-mechanical elements such as the plot... this story now seems harebrained, unrealistic, and quite frankly, silly!

In reference to the last sentence, it remains to be seen whether that's an inaccurate perception I've developed, after becoming bored with reading the same old thing over and over, or if it's an accurate reflection of the content of the book. I'm hoping it's the former. After all, if you repeat any commonly-used word, or even your name over and over again, it begins to sound completely pointless and redundant.

If anyone's reading this, have you ever written a novella, book, or any sort of extra-long piece of writing? How long did it take you to get tired of it? Did you ever get un-tired (I know that's not really a word, but this is my blog so I'll invent words if I feel like it :P) of it?


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