The Stationary Novelist

It seems like forever that I have been trying to write a novel. For as long as I can remember it seems as if I have been saying “I am working on a novel.” For decades I have wanted to write a novel that would start a revolution of the mind and alter the way a generation thinks. All through out the day I am writing the pages of my novel in my head but very little seems to turn up on paper. I read the literary giants in the hopes that their words will inspire me towards the discipline that I hear that it takes to write a novel. Above my desk I have quotes by Henry Miller, Jack Kerouac and James Joyce about the act of writing a novel. Yet there are hundreds of unfinished novels in my head and for the past year I have spent more time petting my cat than I have spent writing my novel. It is like giving birth to a child that refuses to come out. I have been in labor for decades.

The other day I had a literary agent show some interest in my writing. He had read my blog and sent me an email to inquire if I had written a novel or book of short stories that was yet to be published. When I told him that I had been working on a novel entitled “The Fantastic Life Of Nobody Particular” for many years- he grew excited and asked me to send him the manuscript. When I told him that it was only a ten page manuscript he wrote back saying, “you have been working on a novel for a few years and only have ten pages finished? Maybe you should make more of a disciplined effort to write. You have a gift as I Writer. Very seldom do I find writers of your caliber who are unpublished. Why don’t you send me your manuscript when it is finished, even though I am assuming that by then we will both be very old men.” And that was that- I never heard from him again.

I start writing novels or stories and then I loose interest. As quickly as it came it goes away. Writing becomes like work and I have a tendency to procrastinate when it comes to work. I harbor deep indignation towards work because I feel like it is a punishment for sins that I never comitted. I am more like a cat. I like to drift, sleep and eat. When it comes to work- I almost feel insulted. Writing a novel is tremendous work, it is almost more work than building a city. How one man like me will ever be able to build a city…is an enigma to me. Maybe I just have to accept the fact that I am a stationary novelist. A novelist who will never write a novel. A ghost novelist who dreams up elaborate scenarios that will never be seen by the human eye. Sometimes I think that the sooner I make peace with this reality the sooner the weight of expectation will be lifted from my back and the easier it will be to live my life. The sky is falling anyways- do  human beings really need another novelist or novel to distract them from the reality in which they live? I suppose this is a question every stationary novelist has to answer for him or her self.


  1. As a procrastinating writer myself, you just wrote one (of many) of my fears: An agent will want to seem some of my finished work. And what I have is a whole lot of unfinished work. Short stories that need tightening. Short stories only started. Stories in my head that are too important to put down as mere crap.

    Am I a perfectionist? My husband would laugh, no! Do I have a fear of success? I sure don’t think so. That’s my problem, other than thinking about writing more than I write, I don’t know what my problem is.

    If it makes you feel any better, your post has made me want to get off my ass and just write my damn stories.

    So thanks for that.

  2. …the pleasure is mine. I am glad that I can be of help to invoke the muse of writing for you- now if I could only do it for myself!!

  3. Loved the post. I can relate. Sadly, there will be another hurdle to pass should you ever get to The End of your unwritten novel. The submission process. But I think I’m the procrastination king for that leg of the journey. Good luck. Just get B.I.C. and write. Do what I do…the novel writing marathon. Write. Another great post…thanks.

  4. Thank you. Seems like writing is like pulling teeth for me. Well it is not the writing that is hard- but the finishing the things that are hard. Writing on a blog is great because it is a quick fix. Good luck to you as well.

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