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Archive for February, 2011

Progress Report, in which I ignore the Voice of Reason

Eked out some 3200 words on the new short story, which still doesn’t even have a working title.  But hey, that doesn’t mean we can’t bust out a new Magic Meter:

I was originally shooting for around 5K, but the way things are going, I’m thinking 7500 words is more likely.

I’m not up to full speed yet, which is a little disappointing, but I suppose this pace isn’t as glacial as it could have been.  And of course, now that I’m in the middle of this thing, I’m dealing with the crisis of confidence that usually appears around this point.  You know the one I mean–that sudden voice popping up in your head, matter-of-factly informing you that what you’re doing is silly and pointless.

I’ve been at this gig long enough to recognize that this is actually the Voice of Reason speaking.

Seriously, gang.  When you get right down to it, the whole business of making up stories about people and places that never existed–that’s pretty silly and pointless.  But I’ve long since made my peace with it.  If I had listened to the Voice of Reason, I would have given up on the entire enterprise decades ago.  And what fun would that be?

So I’ll just keep blowing off the Voice of Reason, thank you very much.

No updates for Write Club.

Onward . . .

Progress Report, in which I discuss yet another of my neuroses

Writerly Neurosis #324:  Whenever I go for an extended period without writing, I start doubting myself and my ability to pull the plow.  I feel like a fraud, a poseur.  If, during such moments, someone asks me how the writing is going, I smile and give some automatic "Fine, thanks."  But inside, I die a little.

Then I start writing something new, and that goes away.  For a while.

So I started something new on Sunday.  I don’t even have a working title at this point.  But it seems like just what the doctor ordered.  I still need to do a rewrite of From Earth I Have Arisen, and that would have been a perfectly acceptable project to work on, but I felt like I could get a little more distance from that piece if I completed some small, totally unrelated project first.  This new story should be short–although given my track record estimating length, take that for what it’s worth–but it will be enough to occupy my brain for a bit.

And hey, new story.  (Accompanied, no doubt, by all those other neuroses.)

Also, at some point this week, I have to get ready for our tax guy’s annual appearance.  Oh, joy.  Stress?  What stress?

Write Club updates:

Tier one rejections from Basement Stories, Apex, and Daily Science Fiction.  Response times:  one month, 16 days, and 19 days, respectively.

I’m out.

Progress Report, in which I stop waiting by the phone

More Hugo/Nebula reading last week, and got into a bit of unspecific dream time.

See, I don’t know what my next project will be.  The muse hasn’t dropped any firebombs of inspiration on me lately.  So I thought I would just sit down with a notebook and pen, and see where that took me.  I figured if the muse is being a bit standoffish, maybe I could entice her, court her a little.

Honestly, this dearth of inspiration has been bugging me for the past several months.  I’ve been telling myself that it’s nothing to be concerned about–but some small part of me just hasn’t been convinced.  Some small part of me has been wondering if something is seriously wrong, if my writer brain is broken . . . or if I’ve somehow lost interest in the whole thing . . . or I’m really just a one- or two-trick pony who has run out of tricks.

Not happy thoughts, these.

But then I had to consider that I’ve been putting out some respectable verbiage over the past four years.  Not spectacular amounts, mind you, but respectable.  Probably the most productive writing years of my life.  I’ve written four novels in that time (counting From Earth I Have Arisen, which just barely qualifies, but which counts . . . at least for the nonce).  I’ve started two series, creating new milieux out of whole cloth.  And you know, at that pace, it is perhaps unsurprising that the well gets tapped from time to time.  If that’s never happened to me before, maybe it’s because I’ve never been this productive before.  Maybe this is part of my ongoing evolution/maturation as a writer.

And if that’s the case, then it’s only natural that my processes must also evolve and mature.  So maybe instead of waiting for the muse to visit, I need to go knock on her door every once in a while.  Maybe instead of waiting by the phone, I should pick it up.  Maybe at this stage in our relationship, I’m expected to court her.  And I can live with that.

Revelation or rationalization?  You decide.  I’ll be in the corner, scribbling.

No updates for Write Club.

Catch ya on the flip side . . .