Writer. Adventurer. Currently working on The Dreamless City, a series of steampunk novels and short stories.
I was warned after I finished my writing workshop in January that writing would get difficult for a while. I thought I understood what that meant. I didn’t.
The tough part didn’t happen right away. I still had stories in progress, so there was momentum carrying me for a few weeks. I already had the concepts thought out, so I just had to execute. I got the last of those short story ideas on the page yesterday in all its ugly first draft glory.
Now I am in trouble.
I never have problems coming up with new ideas, but with my newfound knowledge, I am unable to judge any idea as “good” and “worthy” of writing a short story. I’ve learned a new skill and am still struggling to internalize it. This is so frustrating because it feels like I cannot write.
I also discovered a new book on writing that might not be helping my issues. WIRED FOR STORY by Lisa Cron is a great book and is helping me understand some of the responses from my beta readers, which parts of a story are important, which ones were irrelevant or confusing. However, I’m worrying about everything up front, instead of saving those insights for the backend. I don’t want to waste my time, but now I’m not doing anything with my time.
Everybody has tough days, and I’m no exception. I like posting about my successes, not the rough patches, but I figured it’s good for other writers to know that they aren’t alone. All we can do is keep chugging along and getting words, no matter how ugly, on the page.
Two of my goals for 2015 revolved around writing and submitting more short stories. Looking back on January, I am mostly on track:
Short Stories Written: 2 (goal is 1/month)
Professional Submissions: 2 (goal is 2/month)
Words per day: 500 (goal is 1250/day)
Recently, I have received rejections from Writers of the Future (I submitted in Dec), Daily Science Fiction (form response), and Flash Fiction Online (personal response). Each one of these emails makes me feel like I am getting one step closer to that first successful publication. Using Duotrope has really helped me keep track of everything too.