All right, folks, I'm calling it. I posted "Remorse" in August of 2009. Riding high, I made expansive notes about what-then and, worse, mentioned those notes publicly.
I am a very, very slow writer. I knew this. (Consider that I once tried to write a contemporary novel and decided to give myself plenty of room by setting it a couple of years in my then-future. I set it in 1997. I have not written that novel, much less the series it wanted to be.) I thought it might take me a few months to turn my notes into a pair of stories, or as much as a year. Or two.
It's been a decade. I have to accept that it's never going to happen.
I'm not just going to dump my notes here as a raw file. They're too rough, with enough masculine swooning to make Dr. Frankenstein jealous. Instead, I'm going to provide some snippets here and a framework of what I intended to do.
The rest of this chapter will be excuses and justifications, moaning and whining. Feel free to skip past it. The next chapter will contain the few scenes I managed to write and an explanation of what I planned for this series.
This is weird to say, but: please don't comment on anything in this chapter. I don't ask for nor expect comments in general -- I lost the ability to leave them myself years ago -- but I don't really want to talk about the life stuff, please.
When I've seen people ask how to make time to write, the answer always seems to be a snide, Well, if you're REALLY a writer, you'll MAKE time to write! You must just not care enough! You must be a total failure! You should give up, you poser!
Yeah, I find it a bit alienating, because making time has always been my problem. If I were independently wealthy, it would be different, but I have a day job that makes writing hard for me. I have long found that I can be very effective as a developer, and I can write narrative, but I can't do both close together. My brain needs time to wind down from one and up into the other.
I know I am remarkably privileged to have a stable, long-term job with a good income. I'm not complaining about it; I like it and I'm grateful for it! But when it takes literal hours to (try and generally fail to) drain the dry technicality from my prose, or to get my head out of a character's mental state so I can concentrate on making a routine do what users need it to do … the hobby has to fall to the wayside. I plot and contemplate characters when I'm commuting, of course, but turning that into actual prose is actually very hard .
I respect writers who can do that! I … can't, mostly. And if you tell me I have to prioritize writing if I really care about it … sorry, the actual paying job's gotta come first. I'm Generation X; I didn't get screwed nearly as badly as those coming up after me, but … well.
(Before you try to tell me I can always find a less demanding job as a developer: nope. I'm not going into the details here, but just trust me that my job is a unicorn.)
The passage of time has also made me lose details, which means I would need even more time to go review the source materials in order to write an effective story. When the plot is based around a seven-year rewind, and when you want to treat the SG-1 side fairly, that means ten years of SG-1 and another five of SGA to rewatch (or study transcripts of).
Aside from all that, from late 2014 to late 2015, I unexpectedly had to become the sole caregiver for my mother when she needed a bone marrow transplant, while continuing to work full time. That wrapped up, I sent her home, I managed to write something in a different fandom … and then what I thought would be a quick beta process took literal months, during which my mom suddenly declined and died while I was still trying to work out if I should fly down. The posted fic was phenomenally, astoundingly better than my initial draft, but ... yeah. The rewriting process and my mom's death got all tangled up and I burned out hard on writing as a result.
And that was just the first half of 2016. That was when the shitshow was just personal.
I did tentatively poke at this story a little earlier this year. Then I tried to see if I could write an original story instead, slowly got a few thousand words in, and found I'd started at the wrong point and it all had to be trashed. That story is now a whopping two paragraphs.
I'm poking away at a different one now, which is only going as well as it is because it's tropey fanfic of that original novel series I'll never actually write. Yes, I know that's ridiculous. And I know where I want it to go, but I've reached one of those sticky bits I always hit, so I don't know if I'll get any further with it, either.
This story, meanwhile … it's been a decade. I need to let it go.
I mean, who knows. Maybe I'll hang on to my unicorn of a job for another 20 years -- I'm halfway there! -- and maybe Social Security won't have evaporated and maybe I'll finally have time to sit down, rewatch these silly sci-fi shows, and then give this story the attention I always wanted to. Never say never, right?
But don't hold out hope for it.