novelist powers
I’ve hit that moment in novel writing, the moment when I’m worn out by the demands of such long prose.


A novel is a long-distance race. I don’t run long distance in real life, but I imagine there comes a point when the mind/body rebels and says: to heck with this, let’s go get pizza.

The impulse is to STOP RUNNING.

Just as, in my case, the impulse is to STOP WRITING.

A novel is a daunting project. It can’t be done in a day. Perhaps, a month? But, usually, much, much longer.

It is a long term project, requiring repeated declarations of commitment.

And, sometimes, the end point seems such a long way away….

Once again, I wish I were a poet. 

I think of William Carlos Williams, slapping ’em down on prescription pads in the middle of being a doctor.

Feeling the satisfaction of completion!

Of course, the creative process is never ending. Write one poem, up comes another. It’s never really DONE.

But, on a small scale, when one creative idea moves from being just a silly concept into the bold reality of fruition……well, that moment is indeed sublime.

Poets must feel it with more frequency than novelists.

Isn’t there’s a spectrum of creative gratification? With the most instant being on the one end (with oh, say, twitter poets and haiku artists) and novelists on the other? Perhaps mega-novelists should be at that end. Those whose single creative idea takes many volumes. (J.K. Rowling, perhaps? How did she write 7 volumes without ripping her hair out with impatience?)

My fatigue is based on my impatience. I want to get to the end without all the work.

Of course, the one thing I can do is narrow my focus. Forget the end point. Just look at putting one foot/word in front of the other.

How else do I get rid of my obsession with THE END?

Maybe I should just skip to the end and write backwards? That might diffuse the ‘ending’ of its power.

Take that, Ending! You have no power over me anymore!

PS. This comic was first seen in the post Why I Want To Publish but given that I reference William Carlos William and his poems-on-prescription-pads (which goes to show you can write ANYWHERE, no excuses!), I thought I would post it here as well.