I've been thinking about writing this entry for a while, as it's something that's been bothering me for quite some time.
If you're a regular reader here, you've most likely heard me talk about having ideas that don't work out. Either I can't figure out how the story goes, or I never figure out how to develop it beyond the original idea, or I hammer away at it for so long trying to make it work that there's nothing left but a metaphorical pile of dust. But what's bothering me is when I simply lose interest in a story altogether.
Before I started writing STARWIND, I finished a rough plot draft on something new; I've talked about this one before. I had six pages of plot, a good deal of world and character development, and a magic system that worked without people knowing they were using magic. It seemed like I had something good, but when I went back to it many months later, I just plain didn't care about it, and couldn't bring myself to work on it.
As much as I'd like to think that no time spent working on writing stuff is wasted, that one definitely feels like a waste. And I'm trying to figure out how to keep that from happening again.
I know that I can't force myself to work on something I'm not interested in; a lot of the problems I had over the past six months came from thinking I had to be working on something all the time. But I don't know how I go from "I want to work on this every day until it's ready for me to write it" to "I don't care about this any more and it's going to languish on my hard drive forever." I've never been one for apathy, so it feels very strange to think that way about my own work.
One cause, I suppose, could be that I just wanted to see where the story went - I had an idea, I pursued it, and once I reached the end, that's all I needed to do. But that seems really weird to me. What's the point of developing a story if I'm not going to eventually write the whole thing? Pretty much everything I've ever written has ended up with anywhere from zero to four people who actually read it. So writing something and stopping at the halfway-plotted stage because that's as far as it needs to go seems . . . ridiculous. Especially after making a page or so worth of notes on the theoretical sequels.
To make everything worse (because I need to do that, really I do), I can think of easily half a dozen different plots-in-progress that I was having trouble with, then figured out something to make them work, and got all excited only to stop working on them again after a day or two. Call me melodramatic, but this is the sort of thing that feels like the slow death of me as a writer, sitting here unable to dredge up enough interest in my own work to do anything.
This has gotten depressing, so I'm going to cut off my pondering here and ask if the rest of y'all have ever dealt with the same thing. Whatever your process is, have you ever just plain lost interest in what you were working on? Did you figure out what caused it, or did you move on to whatever came next? And did you ever regain interest in that abandoned project?