Thursday, March 30, 2006

Those Short Stories

After my last post about trying short stories, I’m happy to report shorter is better, at least when you are trying to find your way back to writing. Yesterday I was working on a short story and I actually completed fifteen full, brand new pages of writing, all in one day!

I can’t even remember the last time I ever managed that many fresh pages in one day. Even better, I enjoyed every minute of it. (Smile) The short stories I write are for me only. I’m using them as a way to get to know the characters a little better in my novel. Since these stories are for my eyes alone, I don’t have to worry about rules, about length, about style, about anything at all. The only person I have to please with these stories is myself.

That’s a wonderfully freeing thing at this point in my life.

All I have to do when I write a short story is go with the flow, have fun, add what ever plot twist or non-twist I want. It’s all about me and what my muse is telling me. I think I had forgotten how much fun creating a story could be. For years now I’ve worried so much about the writing, that the fun part, the creating, the story telling, took a back seat to the self-doubt and the picky little editor sitting on my shoulder.

I think maybe that’s why when any extra stress came into my life, I couldn’t write. The second guessing every word I wrote was enough stress, so any thing else just toppled it all. Writing became only something that I hoped I would get paid for. It was work. There wasn’t anything fun about it. And since I'm not gettnig paid rigth now... well... how many of us would go to work at something we didn't like every day with only the hope that just maybe, one day, some day, we might get paid something for it, just maybe?

I had fun yesterday. (Smile) I was stressed about other things; I’m sick as a dog right now with the worst cold, I’ve been writing letters trying to raise money for a program at my daughter’s school, I have two children graduating in a little over a month and there are a hundred little things I still need to do, sick or not, and yet yesterday I just pushed it all aside, didn’t even worry about cleaning house or cooking, and just let my writing take me away from all of it. I remember when that was always what my writing did. It was a release, a safe place, somewhere to run to where there were no worries.

I think if I really keep trying, my short stories will help me get back to the novel I need to be working on. I’m going to find my way back on my own terms though. Some how I’m going to figure out a way to bring the joy of writing with me. I think that’s going to take awhile, since someone else will be looking at the novel, but I’m going to get there. I don’t ever want to force another story again, long or short.

I think I feel like writing a whole novel is too much work to be fun now, so I can't just push everything aside and write it how ever I want, like with the short stuff, but who knows how I'll feel in a few weeks, or maybe even sooner. (Smile)

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