I quitted today, my newspaper column, not my day job. Sometimes I do wish I could quit both. To find something to put into the column every other week was not an easy task. It could be one of the reasons that I can’t work on my novels. I am thirty-six this year. The dream of becoming a novelist has never faded. And I know it would come back to haunt me soon.
Maybe I deserve the haunting and taunting though. If there is a God of literacy, it would be pretty pissed at this point. I’ve used my aspiring novelist status so much that even myself found it ridicules. I could get wasted. I could go to places where decent human beings wouldn’t go. I could try illegal substance although I would never admit to that. And when I was single, many times I could begin my conversation with a girl: "I want to hear your story" and end up in bed with her.
With all that, last time I checked, I have completed 0.0% of my novel.
It’s not because of lack of preparation. I have a big box of sharpened pencils, which I can’t write without. I have the graph paper that people use to draw charts, the only kind of paper that I can write on. I have writing materials. Unlike my super dull life, people I talked to all live their lives more fully and I did take all their great stories into the heart. I have watched many movies. I read too. If there is a competition of the best preparation work for novel writing, I can win that easily.
But there is not. And I completed 0.0% of my novel.
It’s not because of lack of anticipation or expectation. I appreciate my friends who ask about my writing status once a while. I know you would like to read it. I would too, probably a lot more than you. There are also harsh inquiries, like the ones coming from my ex-brother-in-law. He quitted his good day job couple years ago to become a full-time writer. Crazy and immature, I thought. I had much better writing style and got more recognition at his age. Of course now he is a well-established novelist. By the way, when he quitted his day job, he created a little social network website. As a huge blow to my wisdom, his website has become one of the hottest online properties. He will turn into a young multi-millionaire when he feels like selling it to Google or Yahoo one day. Not to my surprise, he won't forget to ask where my great novel is every time I meet him. Maybe he should take easy on me since his sister dumped me. Anyhow, I would still appreciate if it helps.
But with all that, I completed 0.0% of my novel.
It’s not because of lack of intention. I want to finish my novel. I want to alter people’s life and make people happier through my writing. I want people to think of my words like that way I think of Haruki Murakami’s all the time. Like this:
No, she wouldn't believe it. Or even if she did, she might not want to talk to me. Sorry, she could say, I might be the 100% perfect girl for you, but you're not the 100% perfect boy for me. It could happen. And if I found myself in that situation, I'd probably go to pieces. I'd never recover from the shock. I'm thirty-two, and that's what growing older is all about. --On Seeing The 100% Perfect Girl One Beautiful April Morning, Haruki Murakami
With one powerful paragraph like that, I want people to wonder if they miss their 100% perfect person, to understand the other person couldn’t say anything because he/she is afraid of going to pieces, to sit down and take a deep breath when they find themselves in the same situation and will never be able to recover, and, to realize what growing older is all about. With one powerful paragraph like that, I want to get into people’s life. And I want to have more than one, of course.
But no matter what I want, I completed 0.0% of my novel.
However I know it will change soon.