I Figured Out the Real Reason I Can’t Finish My Novel

finishing that novelI was reading an article in the Writer’s Magazine about how hard it is when you are writing something that is personal and that closely mirrors your own experiences somehow, even if it was a piece of fiction that was loosely based on your own truth.  It occurred to me after reading this article that this could definitely be the reason that I can not seem to finish my current novel that I am working on.

When I think about it, I haven’t lost the passion for my current novel, I haven’t become bored with the story, I haven’t become tired of the characters, in fact it is quite frustrating that I have so much passion for this unfinished novel and yet I can not seem to actually finish it.  Now granted I have many things that legitimately take up my time like being a mother, being back in school and working on my master’s degree, working on writing articles and this blog as well as publishing my magazine.  However, having other responsibilities has never stopped me before in finishing something.

Sitting and thinking about it, what is really holding up the process, I am now almost convinced that it has more so to do with my next novel that I am planning to write then the actual novel I am trying to finish.  My next novel (not revealing the title just yet), while fictionally written, will not just be loosely based on my own personal life, but it will actually touch on a large part of my childhood and the tumultuous relationship that I have with my mother and the emotional baggage that I have when it comes to her.  Even though I am fictionalizing the story quite a bit, the premise is going to touch on a lot of emotions that I am ambiguous about dealing with.

I feel like it is a novel that I need to write to work through some things and it is one that it took me a long time to even be ready to write and I have to wonder if this stalling tactic is somehow a sign that I am not as ready to write it as I thought I was.  But when I think about it, I am ready but then I’m still not sure if I really am.  My first novel, The Diary: Succession of Lies, took a lot out of me to write because it was extremely personal to me as well and it also took some time for me to get through writing it because I was writing through a painful time.

One would think that to write your pain out on the page it would be simple and that it would flow like a river of water.  I think that there is this myth that writing the personal stories takes less time and that it is somehow easier to do.  While this may in fact be true for some there are countless stories that I have read of other writers who struggled the most on the work that was more closely related to their personal experiences.  Ironically, the personal stories, or the fiction stories that are based in truth, are usually the best ones.  There is heart in those stories and they become more relatable to others because someone else may be experiencing the same things that you have already gone through.

I write for many reasons but in large part because I know I can’t be the only one experiencing some of the things that I have gone through.  If I can touch even just one person then I have served a purpose with my words and that is all I really want to do.  In fixing what is wrong you have to first understand what the problem truly is.  Now that I have identified the problem in why I am stuck in this novel and held back from starting the next, I think I can do something to change.  If you are stuck maybe it’s time that you stop to figure out the real reason that has you stalled.


Jimmetta Carpenter


The Diary: Succession of Lies (Now Available)

Writing as “Jaycee Durant”





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