I started my current ‘work in progress’ in January, got to Chapter 13 by mid-March, decided it wasn't working, and went back to rewrite from Chapter 7. It still didn’t feel right, so at the end of May I started the whole thing again. Now, two months and 10 chapters later, (a) I’m still not happy with it and (b) I must confess I’m fed-up of it! I realised the latter when I found myself procrastinating even more than usual(!) because I felt the story was in a big black hole and I didn’t know how to pull it out. Eventually, after two or three weeks of struggling, I put it to one side and hoped that, by distancing myself from it, some inspirational solution or at least some new ideas would occur to me. Guess what? They haven’t :-(
In the meantime I’m trying (fairly half-heartedly, I admit) to resurrect one of my old stories, but again it’s proving an uphill struggle. And I don't really have any ideas for a new story - not even for a Christmas anthology for which my publisher is inviting submisisons.
So what’s happened? Has my muse deserted me? Am I really at the point of wanting to give up writing?
There’s another reason for my current depression (if that’s what this current ‘downer’ really is). Since June 2011, I’ve had three novels published (and another one due out in November). I’ve had some wonderfully gratifying reviews on Amazon as well as positive comments on my blog and on Facebook. But sales? To say I am disappointed in the number of books I’ve sold is an understatement. It leaves me with the feeling that, if so few people are reading my books, why am I spending hours agonising over the next one?
I’m still trying to work out why I’m tempted to give up writing. Is it because I can’t get a grip on my current story? Is it because my other books haven’t sold particularly well? Or is it simply because this damned gloomy wet ‘summer’ weather is enough to drive anyone into a depression?
Maybe it’s a combination of all these things – but, at the moment, writing (in the words of my friend Gilli Allen) seems akin to trying to carve granite with a teaspoon…