Hi, gang, Craig here again this time and I have a little confession to make. I’m not actually a writing guru or mentor. We post a lot of tips and tricks here on Story Empire, and I’ve contributed my share of them. Mine are from the perspective of someone who has walked that mile myself. When I learn something I have no problem sharing it, but some of you likely have a better grasp on some of the topics than I do.
That’s fine, because I look at writing as a kind of zen journey. My position on the path is different than yours; some of you are ahead of me and some are behind. If there is a lesson in today’s post it’s going to be subtle. You’ll have to read between the lines to pick it up.
I started writing later in life than most. I’ve always had to write as part of my paycheck job, but policies and procedures, even legal documents are not the same as fiction. Fiction is a whole nother animal.
One winter, we were pretty broke and I’d about conquered the internet. I started writing to stave off boredom. It was so addictive that I’ve never stopped.
I started free writing a novel. At that time, I had no idea of plot, character arc, or anything else that matters. I just wrote. Whatever random vignettes popped into my head found their way into my story.
The story is a piece of junk, and so is the sequel that followed it. They’re also among my most treasured possessions. Conundrum? Not really.
I had so much fun writing these pieces of junk that I started learning everything I could about how to write a better story. One foot in front of the other, as they say. With the exception of these two trunk novels, my mileposts are on Amazon for the world to see. The stuff I’m producing today is better than the stuff from back then, as it should be.
This year has been a rough one for me. It’s taken me way too long to publish the two books I want to release in ’17. I just published The Enhanced League, but The Yak Guy Project is still languishing. It makes no sense to dump TEL on Amazon and fail to promote it.
I’ve written fourteen unique blog spots about TEL, and am currently scrambling to keep up with all my hosts and commenters. This is fun too, but it’s keeping me from the next project. I had more host volunteers than I could come up with content for this time. I love these people, but I don’t want to start sounding redundant out there either. Maybe some of them will give me a raincheck for Yak Guy when he’s ready.
There are other projects. My Story Empire obligations might be a fair example of one. Not to mention the need to hold down a full time job. There has been a long string of beta readers, edits, and more to work through this year.
I’m feeling the restraint of the harness right now. Something is amis, and I’m going to take a poke at it. I had the opportunity to write a short story for an anthology. It was like a vacation in the midst of everything I have going on. What I enjoy, what really moves me, is drafting new material. Sometimes, I can write a blog post about the craziness that goes on at the writing cabin and stave off the craving. I haven’t even had time for that lately.
How bad am I? I have three novels partially outlined, and two novellas. I’m raring to go, but I have other obligations holding me back.
I need to write. Take up one of my outlines and charge forward. Free write something just for the fun of it. My MO is to take care of business first, and I will. I need four micro-fiction pieces for my blog this October, and those will give me another fix. Maybe I should start weaving them into my schedule right away. Yak guy will be with beta readers soon, and there is always some waiting that goes along with that.
Take this away from today’s post. Find your joy and make time for it. It matters, and it’s too easy to put off. I’m committed to a couple of projects right now, but I’m going to clear my decks and get back to what got me started in the first place.
If you’re like me, just write. Write poorly and don’t be ashamed of it. If you want to share it with the world, there are editors out there. Bad writing can be fixed, non-existent writing cannot. Life has a way of placing tasks in front of us, but we all need to find the part that we enjoy and spend some time on it too. It’s good for the mojo.
I’ll get back to what I love about writing. I’ll use the micros as a tonic, and will be neck deep into one of the novellas by the time snow flies. Don’t bet against me.