I know this sounds made up—kind of like the loser in your math class who kept insisting he had a girlfriend in Oregon and oh yeah she's a model, check out this photo that, yes, was ripped out of a magazine, because he lost the original okaaay—but my friend Tobias who loves pizzalicious-flavoured Pringles and lives in Sweden asked to read my book the other day. I know. And it was totally out of the blue. Tobias, if you read this blog, please fill me in.
I wasn’t sure how to respond at first but it made me think about how things have both stalled and progressed since I wrote that godforsaken manuscript. While the book has been turned into a TV show (in my mind only) and while I’ve got another writing project on the go (I have 20 pages so far and I already want to quit), the book still burns a hole in my hard-drive. I have not forgotten about it. I couldn’t even if I tried.
But here’s the thing. I can tell myself it’s bad luck or bad timing or Can lit sucks for only so long. Once you’ve gotten as many rejections as I have and even your publishing contacts get you nowhere, it’s time to realize that maybe, just maybe, your book stinks. And I think it does. I re-read a bit of it the other day and I made this noise: eeeeewwwww.
It made me a bit sick to think that this was what I’d been putting out there. It made me think that a year from now a re-write would be necessary if for no other reason but the easing of my own creative conscience.
Again, as always, my mind veers back to this terrible but familiar question: when is giving up a good idea? Anyone?