As I mentioned in my last two posts, it’s been kind of a weird year. An in-between kind of year. Maybe for some people it would have been the kind of year that lends itself to a lot of writing, but that’s not how it happened for me. Which I’ve come to accept.
Really, I’m coming off a 2-3 year period of relative inactivity. The year I finished my MFA was an immensely productive year, so in a way it makes sense that a slump would follow. Since then there has been work and another round of school and sending out submissions. Being that creative energy is finite…well, suffice it to say that it’s been a while since I worked on truly new fiction for a sustained amount of time.
It’s a relief to be getting back to it. It’s not just personal aspirations–I don’t like not writing. It tends to make me feel congested or stymied.
This summer has been a process of getting back to writing. Which means, among other things, that I’m getting the rust off. Stretching neglected muscles. It means throwing things away, because I’m really only writing them to clear out my brain a bit. Recently, though, I’ve been able to write some shorter things (1500 words or so) I actually like. I’m almost done going through my warm-ups, I’d say.
What will take me to the next step is continuity. I’m trying to reintroduce the mindset that I should write often, if not a lot. My goal, over the next month, is ten pages every day. I’m not quite there yet, but I am hopeful. Before I would have been wary about being overambitious, but right now I think that ambition is called for.
It helps to have particular ends in mind. A lot of publications are opening up their submissions queues again as we get closer to fall. It’s helpful to say, “Oh, I’d like to have something ready for this” or “That’s a fun theme, I think x project I’ve been thinking about would work well.”
But my motivation comes from somewhere else. It’s really just the desire to write and tell stories. And I’m relieved to get back to it.
Are you writing? Do you want to be? What are you working on?