Why I Never Wanted to Write a Novel
Commitment, commitment, commitment - writing a novel is a long term commitment and there is no guarantee it will payoff. Not only do you not know if it will payoff financially, you don't know if anyone will ever even enjoy it. If you're going to get it done and do it right it takes lots of time away from other things you could be doing or writing. I have not ever taken even a second to contemplate how many hours I put into my novel "Love, Sex and Understanding the Universe." I think I'd get dizzy and faint if I did.
I wrote the book simply because I had no other choice. It was intended to be a short story but the short story, which I really was excited about, would not fit into the confines of that format. My main character, Jim, would not be satisfied with me telling just that one little bit of his life. He wanted the whole thing told, and I could see too that without his back-story the short story did not make sense. Jim was not the kind of guy to get himself into the mess he was in. I wanted to know what happened to get him there and he told me, and told me and told me. But I answered back that this was all fine and well but I was NOT going to write a novel. He wouldn't shut up and even went on to tell me what happens after the slice of time in the story. Finally, I gave up and did as he insisted, and told his story.
So, was it worth it? Do I regret the time - years - I put into that book? Well, of course it was worth it to get Jim to stop his incessant narrating in my head. More importantly though, I love the novel. The few others who have heard parts of it - no one else has ever read the whole thing (YET) - have been intrigued too, and that's very encouraging. However, what's most telling about how I feel about having put that time and commitment into the book is that fact that once I was done I wanted to do it again, and thus, my second novel, "Bonita verses Ivan Rastaman and the Monkey-go-round."