“But a good writing day ought to be simply any day you worked. … The hell with all that anxiety about what may or may not come when you do work. Quit expecting it to dance for you. It’s not about you, finally. It’s about itself.” Richard Bausch, The Writer’s Chronicle, March/April 2014, p. 20
And here is my rationalization for the longest dry period since I resumed my blog in February 2013: maybe not I’m working today, I tell myself, but I might work tomorrow. And that has gone on and on for weeks. Granted, I’ve been busy with (the never-ending dramas of) my day job. My weekends have given over to just catching up with chores and errands that I don’t accomplish during the work week. I’ve been playing with my cats. Cleaning out their litter boxes. (Two of them have access to the outdoors, but do they do number out there? Hell no.)
Going to yoga practice three times a week instead of two.
Just recently I started scribbling during meetings, in the physician’s waiting room, or during the ten-minute reflection period during my Flow & Meditation yoga class. Finally, I read through a serialized short story published by my friend and fellow blogger, Eric Baker (that’s Eric, not Ginger) on his blog. I have been reading serialized novels online, but I felt strongly drawn to Eric’s project as something I might be interested in doing myself.
You see, I prefer writing short stories. Yes, I have (as I have repeatedly, ad nauseatingly said) rough drafts of five novels extant: one standalone novel, and four that belong to a series. All of them were created during a NaNoWriMo event. And that is probably the only way they could be created, with a deadline of 30 days and 50,000 words and the push to just keep going. But I’m not sure that’s makes me a novelist. For all I know, most of those novels might wind up as short stories by the time I’ve finished editing and revising and rewriting. Or not.
In any case, Eric has inspired me. I have plenty of stories that I know I will never publish, not in the traditional sense anyway. I have some stories that have been published on other blogs that I might republish here for the entertainment of new friends and followers. I’m slowly thinking this through. I’m not given to rash decisions or acting on impulse. On those rare occasions when I do, I usually regret it. So I have been thinking about this a lot, long and hard, in-between games of Tetris on my iPad.
It’s one thing to publish my fiction writing or poetry on another blog, but on my own? What if people stop following me?
In response to a question about whether “the germ of an idea into a finished piece ever get[s] easier,” Richard Bausch replied, “It never does get easier, and the writer who thinks it should is involved in a dangerous self-deception. … And the heavy doubts never go away. Better make friends with them now, because they really won’t ever go away.” Mr. Bausch has written a long list of novels and short story collections and is the recipient of several writing awards. One would think his credentials alone would make him free from doubt. But he is not, and so I am in good company.
I have no set schedule for when and how I will post my stories. My current goal is just to get them into posts, get them from one place on my computer to another. In some cases, I’ll actually have to retype them since a few are quite old, written long ago and saved to (hold your breath) 3.5 diskettes.
I feel, strangely enough, excited about this. Let’s just hope it doesn’t blow up in my face.