Challenges to writing…

I don’t know if anyone noticed, but I alluded to it in my author note for the collection, 14 DARK WINDOWS:  A lot of the short stories I have published so far were written a few years back.  There are some items contained within those stories that are sort of anachronistic today.  For example, how many college kids move into their dorm rooms with “killer stereo systems”?  Answer:  Very few, I’d venture a guess.  They have computers with speakers and iPods and such.  Entire music collections are digital.  Even this dinosaur has around ten thousand songs in digital format, with a handful of iPods scattered between family members, office, automobiles, and various rooms.  (But I still like CDs and DVD/Blu-Rays!)

I do in fact have some newer short stories.  Three are almost ready for publication.  Two are pretty well edited, and I think that eventually I’ll publish the two of them as a pair.  One is straightforward horror; the other is more of a twisty fantasy.  The third needs a couple of editing passes, a title, and some tightening.  I’ve also got a 45K novella (is 45K a little long for a novella?), a 35K novella, and a 28K novella finished (and all but the first need a lot of editing and work before they’re ready to go), and I’m about 18,500 words into a horror story that’s looking like another novella-length project.  Then there’s the two YA projects, one around 15 or 16K, and the other around 8K (I think), that I work on when the mood strikes.  (Right now the mood is struck for that horror story.)

But the newer stuff is slow going.  I hardly get any time on weekends to write, not with family making demands on my time.  It was all I could do to eke out enough time to publish 14 DARK WINDOWS last weekend.  So I write at work.  But that has its own challenges.  See, as a dentist, I write when I get breaks and over lunch.  And sometimes I have a bunch of momentum, but sometimes I have almost none.  I sit here in front of the laptop and think about writing, but not knowing where to go.  And often when I do have momentum, when the story is hot in my head, needing to get out, I get interrupted by patients in either my or the hygiene schedule, or by phone calls, or by mail that needs my attention.

So the long and short of it is that it’s been very difficult to finish stories.  When I do, I’m elated.  I’m on cloud 9, and most of the time my wife doesn’t even know why.

Currently I feel like I’m getting into one of those lags.  My horror story is losing momentum.  I got to a spot where I’m not sure how to write the next scenes.  The YA stuff just doesn’t have my interest right now, and neither do any of the many other projects I have on my flash drive.  And editing and formatting are just not something I can do much of at work.  That seems to require a different part of my brain, a part that isn’t available when I’m at the office.  Not for writing projects, anyway.

So I’m going to keep trying, keep writing when I can, and keep publishing as I get things done.

Thanks for reading!