While digging through my files the other day, I found an old outline for a novel I had started crafting 4 years ago. It would have been my fifth and a follow up to my first and fourth, which were related.
But I never wrote it because I got…well, side-tracked. I learned the hard way that there is quite a fine line between research for an idea and an obsession with it; I see now that my ability back then to navigate and balance on that line was lacking, to say the least.
It is possible, in these days, to find so much information on a given topic and to find so many people that know so much about any given topic that you begin to get a skewed perspective on it. You start to wonder, “if other people knew what these people know then things would be different. I need to learn more about this.”
It was all justifed in my mind by the destination: the story. But at some point the ends were lost in the means. And all of those people that think they know so much? I realized they are just as delusional as I was. In fact, I have little doubt that ending up like them would have been my ends if I had kept up my pursuit along those means.
Lucky for me, I moved on to my next creative outlet (music) and soon forgot about writing novels. Anyway, I had decided, 4 novels is enough and I wasn’t going to write any more of those monsters until I knew that the first 4 didn’t suck. Although I’m still not convinced of that, I have sold nearly 1000 copies of them.
So now, 4 years later, I dredge up the old idea and it’s asking to be tinkered with again. It beckons me and it is difficult to turn my back on it. I’m in a better place now – I think. Maybe I could bat around this subject matter again without getting completely consumed by it. Maybe I just needed separation to gain some perspective.
Maybe again I am starting to justify a means that I’d be foolish to think I could handle any differently.