I know I said I wasn’t going to talk about what I was writing until I’d written it, but, like all fiction writers, I lie. I won’t go into detail though. The title of this post says enough. After months of wrapping myself in rope after rope of “shoulds”, I ended up so tightly bound I couldn’t write at all.
What happened to my plan to write more short stories for a collection? Well, critique comments pointing out things you “can’t do in short fiction”, depressed me. I see now that half the stories I’d written are really novel chapters in poor disguise. My lack of higher education has smacked me down. I don’t know the conventions of short fiction, and I don’t want to take the time to learn them—at least, not right now.
But I do have a story to tell, and it’s novel length. In fact, it’s the story I started to tell months ago, before I let my marketer’s brain take over. The story excited me then and it excites me now. I write what I write. It finds the readers it was meant to find. That’s my career plan.
Of course, now that I’m fired up, it’s almost time to take a break for the holidays. Life has a wry sense of humor. I’m not worried though, I’ve lived with this story for a good while. It’s not going anywhere. And PLEASE, if you hear me starting to doubt again, will you kick me?
Do you take a break for the holidays or try to keep your regular writing schedule?
17 thoughts on “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and I’m not blue!”
I’m the weirdo who actually tries to beef up her writing during the holidays. My office closes the week between Christmas and New Year’s and I hate the cold so those extra five days camped out in front of a fire make all the difference. Plus, I usually use my writing as an escape from family.
That makes 2 weirdos!
Well, Kim, I don’t think that makes you a weirdo, just efficient. 🙂 I’ll think of you by your fire while I have a houseful of family taking up every square foot of space.
I took a huge break in 2011 to work on smaller projects. With a growing toddler, this schedule worked for me. Now things are settling down a bit and I’ll get back to more meaty work in 2012. I found you through a comment on Writer Unboxed’s post by Sharon Bially on investing in our writing.
Welcome to my blog, Stacy. And thank you for letting me know how you got here. I always wonder how people find me.
I wish you success in your “meaty” year. 🙂
I’m so glad I’m not alone. I have tried to write so many short stories only to find that they are really parts of novels, not short stories at all. I stink at the short stories. I’ve written one that can actually be called a short story and those who have read it said I should expand it into a novel. Currently it’s in submission for a contest. If I don’t place I’m throwing in my hat at short story writing and sticking with the novels. I’m glad I’m not the only one who has a problem with them. I was beginning to think I was alone. 🙂
You know, Heather, I just didn’t realize how much there was to learn about short story writing. I thought I knew what a story was, but I guess I don’t. Then I thought, okay, some of these are vignettes, but I submitted my best one to a journal, and the editor is interested, but wants me to revise it. So, obviously, I don’t know how to judge what makes a good vignette either. So I guess it’s novels for me too.
Good luck on your submission! 🙂