It feels like forever since I’ve written something new. Besides the short stories I posted recently, it’s been a long time. Until We Burn came out way back in May of 2018, almost 2 years ago now. Since then, I’ve only released Home, a short novel that dealt with grief and things I was struggling with at the time.
There are a few reasons why I haven’t done much since then. College, obviously, and finishing high school before that. Months spent working on a novel that has yet to see the light of day and I haven’t touched recently. Maybe that’s where the frustration has come from. But whatever the case, I haven’t done much in the past 24 months.
Here’s the Deal
The desire to write something “big” consumes me at all times. And not big as in size. Big as in… ambition, grandiose, the attempt. It’s a burning itch to make something bigger than myself, bigger than I’m actually capable of. Something that isn’t “small.” The kind of book that shocks and sticks with you and you can’t escape. Something more real than anything I’ve written before. The kind of grand, bombastic novel that people remember. And even if I’m not remembered, I want to feel like I can be proud of the book I complete. Of the novel I’ve written. This isn’t to say I want to write a bestseller. I just want to make something I can feel certain of. Just once.
But that same irrational desire crushes action and that inaction leads to frustration with no goal. There is no goal. The goal is too big to see clearly. I’ve started to think of it in terms of Captain Ahab and the white whale. Of course, we know how that story ended. (If you don’t, look it up.) So not exactly the same. I hope.
Obviously, the books I’ve already written “have meaning” to an extent. I just feel like something’s missing. I can’t express how much it’s been gnawing at me, how I feel like there’s a book I have to write and I can’t find it. Something out there that I need to look for. If I don’t at least try, I have no idea what I’ll manage to complete. So far, that answer has been nothing. Ignoring this feeling has only led to nothing. So I’m gonna make my attempt and try to find that book. Somewhere.
As hard as I’ve tried to ignore or squash the desire, it’s impossible. I’ve tried to write books that are less ambitious and every time I give up. Writing Home was a brief escape, writing something I felt was meaningful, but even still I’m not fully satisfied. The Gold Collection doesn’t count. It wasn’t that much “new” content.
So, for the time being, I go to chase my “white whale.” I won’t be posting here again for some time. I’m trying to take this situation of isolation to conquer whatever’s standing in my way. Maybe I’ll come back with a novel or maybe not. I don’t know how long it’ll be. But for the time being, and for the near future, I’ll be busy. Call it a hiatus or whatever you want.
No posts here, no newsletters, nothing on my social media. Unless I see something related to Harrison Ford, then you bet I’ll share it. Besides that, I’m gonna try to go dark, if only for the peace of mind and focus it brings.
While I chase this elusive book, feel free to read my old ones and buy new copies if you don’t have one. I’ll post here again whenever I’m prepared. You can still send emails and texts or whatever. It’s not like I’ll be away from the computer.
This is just an attempt at a different head space of writing. Writing is an act of self-delusion as much as fiction. We create a fake world for the reader but a fake world for ourselves. We tell ourselves with each new book that it’ll be the best one we’ve done. A step in the right, general direction. Sometimes it is and other times not. That struggle, that self-delusion, has failed me. And so I’m trying to find a different way down this path.
This is long enough and pointless enough already, so I’ll end.
It is not down on any map. True places never are.
—Moby Dick, by Herman Melville