Right now, I am working on my novel. It has been in the work for awhile now, but this is the first time that I have the discipline to actually finish it.
The thing is — I’m in a pretty good place in my life right now. I have learned how to be happy in the last few months, and I am actively trying to live a positive life.
The thing is — whenever I reflect about my past, I get sad. You can imagine when I am writing a piece of autofiction, I have to think a lot about the past. This, in turn, makes me very sad.
So now, I am in a weird place in my life where every time I write, I get sad because I need to reflect about my past in order to write about my past. Yet, on the other hand, I have been trying to finish this novel for so long now. I need to finish it for the artistic value of finishing it. Therefore, I am at a point where attempting to create art causes me a lot of unhappiness.
Since I no longer pursue unhappiness (at least consciously), I am at a weird point in my life where I am doing something that I know I want to do. Yet, at the same time, the thing that I know I want to do is also causing me a lot of unhappiness, which I know I don’t want. So, right now, I’m in this superposition where I simultaneously want to finish my novel but at the same time also not finish it. It’s a stupid conundrum!
I want to be a writer. Not in the sense that I want to spend all day writing (because I really don’t), but I do want to actively reflect on my life through writing. Autofiction just happens to be a great medium to do that. I am writing this novel right now because I want to move on from the past four years of my life. Is it a neurotic tendency? Maybe. But, the bottom line is: I can’t move on from these four years unless I write them down. I need to escape it.
It doesn’t even need to be good. Realistically, I’ll probably hire an editor for one edit, do the edits, then move on with my life. If I can’t get a major publisher to publish it, then it doesn’t matter. I’m not writing in order to impress anyone, and I don’t need the income from writing either.
A couple years ago, I wrote about what I think it meant to truly “pursue your passions”. I think the cliche of pursuing your passion is complete BS. Namely, it assumes that you can only have one passion. It also assumes that risk is a necessary component to pursuing your passions. And, for a risk-averse person like me with multiple passsion, there’s no way that I could ever sacrifice stability or liberty to pursue a singular passion.
I like writing, for sure, but there’s no way I would ever want to be an author by profession. There’s just so much I want to do in the world, and there’s no way I would ever want to be dependent on my writing for income. Why would I let myself have my income stream be dictated by whether someone likes my writing or not when I can just write for free without caring for the judgement of others? That isn’t freedom. Writing freely means not worrying about writing as a source of income.
Realistically, I can stop writing for good. This novel can go unfinished. I don’t need to wait for it to be perfect. I just want to finish it, so I can move on with the rest of my life. But, in order to do that, I just need to get over my sadness.