I struggled to get going again today.  I just felt completely drained.  I’m not sure how long I spent on my novel today.  I tried to write more of it, but managed only about two hundred words and hit a wall.  I decided that the chapter was finished and proofread it, but I’m open to the idea that that decision may be a result of depression and I will have more to add on another day.  Reading over it, some of the earlier parts of the chapter were definitely quite good, but it’s a mixed bag overall.  Again, the surreal interludes are both more enjoyable to write and seem to be better written on re-reading.  The chapter weighs in at just over 4,000 words, which is a little short.  To be honest, the novel as a whole is probably a little on the short side (it’s currently around 30,000 words, depending on whether or not I include the prologue), but I’m hoping the second draft will expand a bit.

To be honest, I’m struggling a bit to keep going with the novel at the moment.  In the abstract, I think it’s a story worth telling, but I’m not at all convinced that I’m telling it well plus I worry that the autobiographical bit is of no interest to anyone other than me; likewise that the character most like me is boring, irritating and self-obsessed.  Am I just projecting my low self-esteem?  Or is it true?  It’s upsetting to feel that my life story isn’t interesting to anyone else, let alone that I’m a boring, annoying drama queen.  At least I have some ideas for other novels that would be very different in style and content from the semi-autobiographical novel of character dealing with Big Issues that I’m currently writing.  If nothing else, writing this novel has convinced me that whatever future I may or may not have as a writer, it’s not as a writer of highbrow literary fiction, perhaps sadly, but perhaps fortunately.

It’s funny because Bryony Gordon has a new book out that was being promoted in the newspaper yesterday, and she’s written so much about her issues, and I find myself wondering how she’s managed to do that.  Admittedly her issues inspired her to do crazy, impulsive, hedonistic, dangerous things that were probably bad at the time, but led to good stories, whereas my issues tied me to a life of… not quite monkish abstinence, but very little actually happening, just a lot of sitting around feeling lonely and miserable.


I went for a run, which helped my mood a bit.  It was good running weather: dry, but cold.  I like the bracing feeling of running in the cold, like swimming in the sea in winter (not that I’ve ever tried that).  I Skyped E. too; we have a routine now of studying some of Pirkei Avot (the part of the Talmud dealing with ethics) on Sunday (at her suggestion, I should add – I’m not forcing religion on her!).  So I felt better after the run and Skyping E. although it is hard not knowing when we will be able to spend time together in person.

4 thoughts on “Writing Fiction, Writing Autobiography

  1. It’s great to have a bit of a purpose for your calls, and something specific to discuss. I like running in the cold too. It’s very refreshing.


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