Eventually I’ll give up, but not today.
The last time I wrote any fiction of note was mid-January, some 70K words into Face After Face, a horror novel that’s been inert ever since. Since then, I almost finished a short story, and started at least a couple others, but otherwise it’s been a fallow nearly-nine months.
But it hasn’t been a fallow year for other things. Death. Failure. Worry. Loss. Stress. Being endlessly adrift and profoundly alone. Things like that, they’ve blossomed, spread and strangled like kudzu.
Things like that? Eventually they’ll make me give up, but not today.
So I’m back writing, re-starting with a blank slate of a blog, and yet another plan of action.
Attempted prolificacy is the name of the game this time. Self-discipline, that most alien of sensations, has been invited to the party. A writing session in the morning and one in the evening, every day. And possibly extra sessions on the weekend. Short stories for submission to anthologies and magazines. Novellas and novels for Mere Moments. Other projects beyond that, because why limit myself?
I do this, though, knowing it won’t succeed. Those awful things above that have so defined 2015, if not the decades to come, will flood back in eventually and stop my writing, like they always do, year after year. And after another period of inactivity, I’ll start back again, with yet another brave plan to Get It Right This Time, Once And For All.
But maybe in those repeated attempts to Get It Right, I’ll be able to Get Some Things Finished.
Mornings may be for short stories, and evenings for novels. Depends on how the groove flows. I’ll post my progress daily, and in October, I might try live-blogging a novel again for Countdown to Halloween. I may chronicle my TV/Movie/Book/Game habits like I have in the past, or maybe not.
Prolificacy, however: that’s the ticket. Elle Casey writes entire (and very entertaining) novels in an average of six weeks each. Dean Wesley Smith decided writing a novel a month wasn’t speedy enough, and is going to attempt to write ten of the suckers in the last four months of 2015.
I’ll never be able to match either of their outputs, ever, but I can do better than I have since January, which has been zip-dot-shit, to quote a late friend of mine.
So, what’s on the agenda?
I have five anthologies with deadlines between now and October 1st. So that’s five short stories. In October itself, I think I’ve got seven more deadlines.
In novels, Crawlspace is finished but needs a big re-write. Let God Sort Them Out and Face After Face are half-finished. There are other novels with a few thousand words written that need completing, not to mention that possible live stunt for October. So that’s three-ish, four-ish novels, with more in the planning stages beyond that.
And so it’ll go, with any luck.
“Luck.” Ha, I crack myself up sometimes.
So what pulled me out of non-writing this time? What put the spurs to me to make another attempt at the furtherance of my pseudo-career?
It was a simple realization:
I’m middle-aged. My death, whether by natural causes, outside agency, or my own certain, steady hand, is getting closer every day. So I might as well spend as much of the time I have left doing the only thing I’m even one percent good at.
And eventually? Yeah, eventually I’ll give up.
But not today.
After all, there’s always tomorrow.