I've been going through a process where I've been looking back on what I wrote before I was published and what I wrote to get published. Yep, there is a difference and it wasn't deliberate. I'm at a crossroad where I need to rethink my path.
I simply loved to write and I thought challengling myself to write not only genres I'm unfamiliar with in the writing compacity, but short stories as well would help me grow as a writer. How wrong I was. It's done the opposite. It's been frustrating to come up with story ideas and make them into a great read. It's caused me to ignore my longer works. It's drained me of all desire to write.
Writing stories for me has to be driven by the deep need a character has to have his or her story told. Forcing stories that don't have that drive hinders my writing ability.
So, I have a plan. I hope it works.
National Writer's Month starts next week. I've done this before, it's not hard to get 50,000 words out even when work sucks the life out of you, you have the flu and your harddrive dies. ;) This past weekend, I still had no idea what I was writing for this 30-day period. Then it hit me.
I have four short stories I've committed to, all due a few months apart next year, starting with January. So, why not try to get the first drafts done during NANO? Sounds good, doesn't it? Oh, my no. Ok, so I have the first one started and I know the ins and outs in my head, but it's stuck there. There is a May/December story, shouldn't be hard, I've written a few of those. So, I made notes on an idea for that story. Another is interracial, again, a familiar genre of which I've written, but I have no clue what to write. The final one is a horror story. You should have seen the HORROR on my face when I realized I'd committed to that. What the hell was I thinking? I guess with all the ghosts I've lived with, the stored horror in my mental files from books from the past, and the movies I've watched all my life, how could it possibly be hard to write must have been what I was thinking. I have no idea what it will be about. I suppose...oh, my gosh. I think I just got an idea for it.
I can see the confusion on your faces. What has all this have to do with Remodeling the Romance Writer? A lot. Remodeling you, the writer, for whatever reason isn't something we should be doing. Leave it to the rooms of your house. In other words, stay with what you love writing. Let your heart guide you, your characters guide you. Your stories will be so much better for it.
I know it's not New Year's Resolution time, but I have one. Once these shorts are out of the way, back to what I love. I'm excited about that. And anxious. I have a lot of work to do make them publish-worthy.
So, encourage me. Push me. Help me stay on track.
I could use a critique partner who writes similar contemporary works. I'm not up on fantasy or sci-fi.
As for house remodeling, I best get back to painting the living room. Must be done today. The new floor gets laid tomorrow night.