Monday, August 13 - Tuesday, August 14, 2018
(I began writing this Monday evening, but by the time I posted it, it was Tuesday)
It's been a long time. This isn't a chapter update, it's something I've been feeling and have tried to say in some capacities before, but never really had the opportunity or inspiration to do so until now.
This was originally a response to a reader, kelpiejh, who had PMed me and asked whether or not I'll ever continue ReWind or DoOver. My response was long-winded and basically my kind of pouring my heart out and giving more than they asked, and as I kept editing it, it became a pseudo-letter to all of you readers and not just an answer for that specific one. So I decided to write continue to write it out as such and post it to both ReWind and DoOver for anyone who cares enough to check it out, and then rewrite a shorter version for kelpiejh specifically.
She inspired me to finally get this out, so thank you, Kelpie. You have no idea how much you helped.
Even if you guys don't care anymore, I'm going to post this anyway. It's going to be more than you asked for and maybe ever really needed, but I've been needing to explain myself and I've finally gotten the chance to do it somewhat to my satisfaction.
This is rather long. As you guys know from reading my work, I'm near incapable of being brief and concise. It's one of my greatest flaws in writing (and this extends to even academic writing - it's everywhere for me).
It's a couple thousand words long, took me hours to write, and perhaps a bit disjointed since I went back and forth and added things throughout. I hope it still makes sense though.
I broke it up into parts to make it a bit easier to get through. The divisions help keep the closer ideas I'm talking about together and separate when I move on to something else.
Let's get started:
I am so sorry for everything.
I never had any intention of halting my writing ReWind and DoOver and go into such an abrupt and extended hiatus like I did.
It wasn't really planned. I kind of saw a hiatus coming (but how long it lasted and how much it affected everything wasn't expected), as my chapters became more and more spaced out and I had fewer and fewer ideas to write, and had continuously dwindling desire to write at all. I just thought I'd be able to pull through it.
I couldn't. Writer's Block grabbed me by the neck back then and sucked out my motivation to write along with it.
For years afterward, to this day, I still have yet to write anything substantial. With the exception of a short story or two, I haven't written anything creative (non-academic) since ReWind and DoOver.
I always wanted to go back and finish those two stories, but whenever I could muster enough motivation to open them up on my computer, reread what I had to remind and inspire myself (a process that takes hours), that when the time came to actually write something one way or another, I couldn't do it. A few times, it was so late by the time I finished re-reading and was ready that I had to go and sleep so I could wake up for school the next day. I hated myself for that more than I already did because if I had simply planned better or started earlier, maybe I could have gotten something out.
And in the times I did write something, I edited or placed minimal editions to the half-chapters I had written for them both (particularly ReWind I think - I was writing out Konohamaru's bday party for the next chapter when I went on hiatus. May have been DoOver. Whatever).
But I didn't really know how to continue them. I kinda knew how I wanted them to end but had no idea how to get there. That was the biggest issue I had, beyond the lost desire to write.
I wrote myself into a sort of corner, paying so much attention and energy to details and story angles that weren't necessary (like Konohamaru's bday party - I didn't need to write it at all). I don't really like the way I used to write, and while I like some things about it and some parts of the things I wrote, I'm a different person and a different writer than I was before.
It's highly unlikely, very unlikely, but I have felt the desire and played with the idea of continuing them anyway. If I decide that, I'll let you guys know with an "update" like this one and then upload it chapter by chapter, still more or less figuring it out as I go and hopefully giving it a proper ending eventually. If it happens, I think I would decide and maybe get started within a year (I don't think I'll be as inspired to try beyond that).
So that "update" would happen within a year. Posting would probably begin within a few months after that. I don't know how long it will take me to finish. Hopefully less than my hiatus. But I would want to be more confident that they will be finished if that's what I decide to do.
It won't be anything perfect, it'll just be me finishing up the story. I can't pour my heart and soul into them again and have high expectations. Not again. It wouldn't be anything phenomenal.
Again, that's a big "if."
Another possibility is a rewrite. I've been sort of playing with the idea of starting over with one, final time travel story. I originally intended to do that anyway back when I was in middle and high school and writing the stories initially. I thought by college I'd be a good enough writer and happy with my skills and could make the story that I always intended when I started ReWind and DoOver.
But I'm in college now and that's definitely not the case. I am not at all the writer I wanted to be by now, but I'm coming to terms with that. When I first realized that, it struck me; it hurt me, and sucked away any desire or motivation for writing that I had slowly been mustering up and set me back a few paces. I felt even stronger that I shouldn't and didn't want to write because I hated how it came out. I hadn't hated my writing so much since I was writing the last several chapters of ReWind and DoOver. The time I stopped was when that hatred finally worked together efficiently enough with Writer's Block take away the last of motivation and desire to write that I had been feeling at the time.
Anyway, I still am playing with the idea of a rewrite. It would be just one story, and encompass everything I loved and liked from both ReWind and DoOver, and getting rid of and improving on the things I didn't. Making a better version of what I had tried to do before.
Perhaps I have the ability to do it right this time.
But if I did that, I'd have to plan it out carefully and have a much more concrete ending in mind from the start. I always had vague ideas of an ending, but the reason ReWind and DoOver ended up as they did was because I wasn't entirely sure how to get there.
If I decide on the rewrite, hopefully, I'll make the decision within a year from now. If so, I will make a post like this one informing you of that decision.
However: unlike a continuation, where I would upload it chapter by chapter, I will not begin posting the rewrite until it's done or almost done (but fully planned out).
I refuse to let myself drive myself into a corner again with a rewrite. I want it to be as perfect as possible and that includes a ton of planning, rewriting, editing, etc. It would take a very long time.
So if I did decide on a rewrite, I'd have to have it completed or almost completed before I start posting it. That would be at least a year after the announcement that I decided to do it (I don't trust myself to get it done any sooner, so I think that's a safer guess); at least two years from now. If I can muster the motivation to write it in the first place.
That's a big if.
Another thing I feel that I should talk about:
Over the years, I got a new laptop. I didn't have the story files on this new one, and so I didn't have as easy access to just continue writing the fics when I felt I wanted to. I actually think I had them at first, but I factory reset this laptop at some point so it would have gotten erased. And until recently, didn't feel strongly enough to check or transfer them again anyway.
But earlier this year, I finally felt a desire to finally continue my stories again. So, I checked this laptop to see if I had the fanfic files. Like I thought, I didn't. So I opened up my old laptop (I still have it, it still sort of works, but I will never go back to it and it's infected) to transfer old photo files and Microsoft Word files to this one.
I found a lot of my old school works, and nostalgically saved the ones I loved most.
But the sad thing was, for some reason, there were many things that were gone. All but one of my creative works, was missing from my laptop. My fanfiction and short stories were all gone, even the half-written chapters and stories I hadn't posted yet. ReWind and DoOver, and many other works I loved and valued were gone.
I spent hours scouring my files trying to see if they had just moved themselves somehow and I could find them again. It was useless. They were gone forever. I had never deleted them, I never wanted to or would ever decide to get rid of them completely, and yet sometime in my writing hiatus, they had disappeared anyway. Never to be found again.
I was heartbroken and hadn't been that hurt in years. I wanted to cry, and after everything I had been building up (I rarely ever cry), it would have been the closest thing I've had to a breakdown or letting everything I feel out for years. I don't remember completely, but I think I did cry. i didn't let out all my pain for what happened and the other negative feelings I had been holding in for months, but some of it came out. Even just thinking about it and writing about it makes me want to cry again.
The only saving grace was that in the case of most of my fanfiction, I had already posted most of what I had. I don't really care too much about not having my older, completely discontinued stories, but in the cases of ReWind and DoOver, which I always wanted to finish, I can just copy and paste the chapters I posted individually onto a word document so I have the whole thing. Those chapters are further edited than what I use to have on file (since I edit them for a final time when I post them), and the only thing I'd be missing are the half-written next chapters for each.
But the original stories I didn't publish anywhere are gone. That breaks my heart the most. That makes me want to cry. I think I have original hand-written prompts and beginnings of some of them somewhere in my home, but I've been too afraid to look because I don't want to find out that I had lost those too.
I also started fics that I decided not to finish or publish, but those are lost now too. I don't even remember what they were, just that they existed (because I remember I numbered them Fanfic #10 and #11, and I only have 9 published stories). It doesn't hurt as much that they're gone, but it still hurt.
Anyway, that was another little setback.
I'm still feeling the desires to continue ReWind and DoOver at least, that's not totally gone, but, like I've been saying throughout all of this, that's not actually enough to get them done.
While the desire to write (in general, not just fanfiction) has been coming back recently, and I've been feeling more and more inspired to do so, the confidence and motivation to actually write it out are still lacking.
I've been brainstorming some details for character building and world building for some original works I one day want to do, and while that is more than anything I've had in years (seriously, the desire to write is back again and is nearly choking me, I love it, it makes me so happy), it's still not enough to actually write anything.
I'm being inspired more and more often and even have little ideas for what the plot one specific story idea should be and how it should go and end. But even with all those things, getting my ideas onto paper (or on a laptop) has always been difficult for me, even when I was a more active writer. Writing is like trying to squeeze the ocean through a hole the size of a pin all at once, while also having very exact ideas on how and where the water falls, and trying and failing to control that. I don't know. It's very difficult and confusing for me.
The times when I was able to word vomit and just pour words onto pages, as imperfect as they were, beyond academic work was years ago. I'm working on getting that back. Getting the ability to get what I want to at least come out of me, so even when it doesn't come out right, I can still mold it and shape it and fix it to be what I intend for it to be.
But I feel like I'll be able to do that again soon. Like I'm slowly growing back into being a more active writer again, and while I'm not at the skill level I expected and wanted myself to be at this point, that I'm at least on my way there.
This is especially true for creating original works. I'm not ready for them right now, but soon, hopefully, I will be. Especially since this coming semester, I'm taking an intro piano class that I hope will one day help me be able to write songs and inspire me to stories again.
I hope this will also inspire me to finish the vision I had for my fanfiction, for ReWind and DoOver.
I really want to finish them, one way or another. And I'm favoring making a rewrite I can be proud of.
Back to that, when/if I start that rewrite, and feel confident enough that the story is actually going somewhere and will have an ending, I'll let you all know.
Keep in mind that I will continue to leave ReWind and DoOver as marked "completed" throughout all of this (I can still add a chapter or two or just temporarily change its status in order to post those updates).
Again, I refuse to make any more promises I don't know I can keep. I've disappointed you guys enough with them, and am continuing to disappoint myself as well. I hate that.
I don't know for sure if I'll finish these stories. I don't know when they would be completed even if I did. I know for sure that I don't want to just leave them as they are forever and that I'll try to do something about them.
I already gave the best timeline that I could: that if I decide on something, you'll know within a year. I know this school year for me is going to re-energize my motivation and inspiration for writing, and that if I'm going to ever start the rewrite at all, this year would be the chance to do it.
I still have doubts about the potential rewrite that I'll write enough and well enough that it will come out the way I want it to. That it'll become a full and complete story and a journey that will flow well and end. I can't express enough how difficult that is for me.
But if I do start writing it, and I become confident that not only is it good and legitimate and flows and everything else a story should be and can be proud of; when I know exactly how to end it and am fully prepared to do so if I haven't already, that moment is when I'll start posting it. If that happens, you guys can finally put your faith in a story that won't fail disappoint you and fail you the way ReWind and DoOver had. It'll be far better than both of them.
I've already said it's not going incredible or anything, but I feel the need to stress this, I don't want to get your hopes up very high:
If I decide to finish ReWind and DoOver anyway, regardless of whether or not I choose to still do the rewrite:
Do not expect anything incredible. These will not be truly perfect versions of what I wanted to do. It will really just be me adding in the things I planned and finishing them just for the sake of doing so. While they will be better than what I had simply by virtue of improved writing over time and me just hating my old mistakes & writing so much that I need to make the continuation better, I am not placing them to as high a standard in my head as I would a rewrite.
The rewrite, in contrast, I want to be as perfect as I can possibly make it.
The continuations will just be me giving both you guys and myself closure for the sake of having closure. I will give as many answers as possible, do what I can to write the characters and stories as well as I can, but those things will not go through as rigorous an editing and writing process as the rewrite. Not only would that take a very long time for me to do, further extending the conclusions of the stories (and there's two stories, double the time and effort), but I am just incapable and unwilling to pour my whole heart into them.
ReWind and DoOver will never be what I initially envisioned; it will never be perfect and I've already lost the chance to make them so. It's too late to fully make them into what I originally wanted them to be.
The best thing I can do is accept what they are the way they are, and still make a good ending out of it. If I choose to continue them, I'll try my best to do that.
I'd try to make them good and something I won't hate too much and will bring you all closure.
But more of my energy, of my heart, will be devoted to newer works, including the rewrite if I decide to do that.
If I pour my heart into something I can't fix the way I want to, spending all my energy on something I don't know how to end, I'll just be repeating my mistakes and burn out again, not knowing when my spark will reignite enough to write with again.
So please, if I decide to finish ReWind and DoOver, don't expect the world. It's to provide us all closure and fulfill my promises. I truly don't think I can make it "perfect." Perfect enough for me, anyway. It's too late for that. So I'd just do my best with what I have to make something we can all be satisfied with.
The last thing I want to address are the one-shots I promised:
I don't think those will ever get written. I'm sorry, but those promises are almost certain to go unfulfilled.
Even when I was still writing ReWind and DoOver, I still doubted my motivation and ability to write them. I had little motivation to write more fanfiction than what I was already doing. I'm very particular. Writing what I had was difficult enough back then. I just thought that eventually that could change, that I'd have a much easier time writing any prompt I was interested in, like many other authors out there: here, Ao3, and Tumblr. Especially Tumblr authors. They write prompted stories all the time. Unfortunately, that's not me
But if I write more fanfiction, chances are it'll only be the rewrite or continuation. In the minuscule chance I feel the desire to do more, it's likely to be SasuSaku one-shots or short stories. That's the only thing I'd want to write.
In that tiny possibility of me writing more SasuSaku one-shots and short stories, if I have enough desire and motivation in me to do it, there's an even smaller chance that I may make a few of them into the one-shots I had initially promised. I will try. I think I actually still have the document I made listing all the readers they were dedicated to and what they wanted.
But it's not likely to happen.
I'm sorry for everyone I promised them to. I've failed you, disappointed you and I'm sorry for that.
I think I've pretty much said what I wanted to say now. I've tried articulating my feelings on this before, but I think this is the most complete instance of it, and what I think would bring the most answers and closure that I'm able to give you write now.
I can't say this enough, but I'm so sorry. I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry.
I never wanted this to happen; to disappoint you guys or hurt you the way I have.
Believe me, I've been hating myself and beating myself up over it all since I first started becoming inconsistent in my updates. I hate that I can't just write how I want. That I can't make things come out of my head onto the pages whenever I want. That I didn't and still don't have everything planned perfectly so I wouldn't run into walls and be confused and unsure how to end things or get to my endings.
While I know this isn't what any of you wanted, I hope this helps a little bit. I wish I could send this out to every single person who read my stories and hoped for more, but I can't. So this is the next best thing.
Hopefully, you guys understand me and know I meant for none of this to happen. That you have an idea of my plans for the future (as up in the air as they are - I explained them the best I could) and can look at my stories with something other than complete disdain and disappointment. That maybe this shines a slightly brighter light on them, regardless of what happens in the future.
Thank you for reading.
Again, I'm so sorry for what I've done and failed to do.
I don't expect you to fully forgive me if I really disappointed you, but if you took the time to read this, I'd just like for you to understand that none of this was intended or taken lightly by me.
I love you all, truly.
Epic Otaku Cherry.