Happy 13th Birthday To My Novel


Book Cake

Happy 13th Birthday

 Today I am celebrating the thirteenth birthday of my novel. It is not a published novel, but it came into being thirteen years ago.  I like to think it has matured with each birthday but as I continue to write I feel it has simply become a stroppy, unmanagable teenager, thinking it knows better than I, throwing tantrums and obstacles in my way. It will not be controlled or obey house rules, bringing home strange characters that I do not know and that I do not  like. They are troublesome characters who want to get in the way, who want to go in their own direction and not in the direction I planned.

 My novel of course, like all teenagers is getting the better of me. I wish it would come of age and evolve from the ugly duckling it is, to the beautiful swan I envisioned thirteen years ago. It certainly lacks ambition. It defies my best efforts to discipline it and insists on running off using language I am not at all happy with. It seems to lack style. Sometimes I ignore it for days on end. It remains in its room and I don’t go near it. I have read self-help books to help me deal with the issues. I am in a support group. I get regular advice from people more experienced that I, and still it misbehaves. 

When I began to write this birthday celebration of my novel I was tempted to call it an anniversary. But anniversaries are more connected to death or marriage and I know some people might see similarities, but this unruly thirteen year old novel needs to move out and soon. We have outgrown one another and now I find I keep one eye on the shredder in the corner. But it has been around for a long time and I really do love it.

I am embarrassed at this stage and I know that it is time for this teenager to find a new home, but no matter how often I send it away it still finds its way back to me, full of regrets.

(c) Eithne Reynolds


5 thoughts on “Happy 13th Birthday To My Novel

  1. If it’s finding its way back then it does not need to leave—it has for lack of better terminology “unfinished business.” This is my first year really away from home, normally, I make trips pretty periodically back and my reasons for these trips are because I still have things I am holding onto. If you want to let it go, write it a proper ending—short, subtle and to the point :).

  2. I’m reminded of the old poster “Teenagers – move out now while you still know everything”.!!!

    I like this piece but I’m sure your experts told you that one can only change one’s own behaviour, never that of the other partner in a relationship… so I’m suggesting that you ‘cut the ties that bind you’ and do a little visualising exercise:

    Imagine yourself standing on the top of a hill waving the book off as it heads jauntily into its future with a Tom Sawyer-ish swagger, all the ‘unfinished’ elements wrapped up in a red kerchief tied to a stick slung over its shoulder.

    Now do you feel relief or sadness? If relief then you’re ready to let it go; if sadness that the ties with it are all yours!

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