WEEK 25 - I Put My 5-Year-Old Manuscript on Hold. This is How I Came to That Decision
Week 25 and we’re inching towards the middle of the year. At the beginning of this week, I decided to put my five year old manuscript - The Saccharine Vote - on hold. This was how I decided on it.
Week 25 and we’re inching towards the middle of the year. As I’ve said before, the days feel long but the weeks and months just speed past. Soon enough, you feel like you’ve been going through the motions without really knowing why. So with that, let’s jump into this week’s topic. (Or announcement, look at it how you will)
At the beginning of this week, I decided to put my five year old manuscript - The Saccharine Vote - on hold. On hold meaning that I will not be continuing with my rewrite of this manuscript, submitting, or working on it for the time being. How do I feel about this?
To be honest, it has been painful.
Think about it - I sunk effort, money, and goodness knows how many beta reads for the last half a decade or so into this manuscript. And then about 5-6 rewrites in, I decided to just stop this piece and move on to something else first.
And yet, I’m glad I put ‘The Saccharine Vote’ on hold.
So here’s how I came up with the decision (and hopefully, some of you will be able to relate and get some perspective as well):
Process - Was it Enjoyable?
“Are you enjoying the process?”
I’m going to say one mean thing and then we’re going to get it out of the way for the rest of the post.
If you’re creating just for the money, there are easier ways to earn more.
Okay, there, I said it. So where does that leave me if I wanted to find motivation to keep on creating?
I was not only not enjoying the process of rewriting my manuscript that much anymore, I was pretty much copying and pasting a majority of my rewrite despite knowing some of it needed work. What I was worried about was how I needed this manuscript out as quickly as possible - the authenticity faded.
And sometimes, one of the better things to do after looking at all your options is to let the work have a rest from you.
Speaking about looking at your options...
Possibilities Outweighing the Present
Who doesn’t want their work to be well-received? However, I’m at a point in my creative journey where I’m grateful for where I am at the moment because 1) I can engage with each and every single person who is interested in my work, and 2) Given the early stages of my current fictional multi-verse, I have a lot more room to make fictional shifts.
Thus, weighing my options moving forward also had me weighing potential incoming opportunities against my present intentions.
Presently, I am, as I mentioned, not enjoying the process or doing justice to my manuscript as it was. And if I was to continue down this road, I was going to make the same justification I did with previous works I published, but weren’t so hot about - “I didn’t have enough time.” or “I had to cut things down.”
And on the other side of the scale, I have another novel that has finally gotten through to my head after months or urging - a manuscript I’m feeling more drawn towards and excited for. So yes, a story I can stand behind - and pitch in a way that can help me feel more like myself, more authentic.
Alignment in Creation
Ultimately, this is a huge lesson of alignment for me, especially with my creative process.
While grit continues to be important here and there, there comes a point in time where we’ll be asking ourselves - is it just not for us, or is it just not our time? Often, it’s this struggle between these two questions that keep us in this loop of frustration.
This was when I learnt of the importance of alignment and mindset.
Living in a fast-paced era often meant there’s this expectation for us to keep moving, keep doing. And if you were not producing, you automatically fall behind. However, what happens when you sit with yourself and just be still? Even for five minutes?
But I will also say this - at the end of the day, our choices are also there because we made a decision. From that, whatever fuels that decision usually comes from your mindset and how aligned you are with your circumstances (physical or mental).
That was how I was able to make peace with, and come to the conclusion that it was time to put The Saccharine Vote on hold, no regrets, complaints, or blame.
And yes, there’s always the hope for The Saccharine Vote to come back. I have that in my plan.
That’s it from me, I’ll see all of you next week!
Have there been creations you eventually put on hold (even though you did not want to) or gave up? How did you come to that decision? Share them in the comments!