In an effort to become more consistent with this blog, my entries may take on more of a journalistic tone than previously anticipated. Those who might have developed a sense of concern for my trapped artistic endeavors will be relieved to know that I am no longer stuck. I certainly am relieved. It feels good to write again after a long period of lock-up.
A friend of mine, we’ll call her my screenwriter friend, advocates writing about your problems in order to sort them out. No doubt that is a useful tool, because she’s a smart person, but when I attempt that approach, I find myself caught between technical paralysis and unproductive spiraling. Time has to pass and let the emotion fade before I can take that route. A generous indulgence in strong liquor helps too.
Which is why my current endeavor is likely going to take a while to develop. It’s a profile of how experiences shape who we are over time based on my recent bout of burnout. Several experiences ranging from fantastic to dismal have factored into the resulting cynicism I now suffer from, and the process of sorting that out seemed like a good story. As a result, I’m delving into some things that drain me emotionally and mentally.
Ironically, it doesn’t drain the words, which is fine, but I have to switch off that topic now and then or my brain starts essentially chasing its tail in an unending manic burst.
So, this is a dumping ground for the moment…or the next few moments.
Going forward, my regular work schedule is pretty tight. One of the joys or working rural EMS is that you put in more hours than a lawyerand get paid less than if I stocked shelves at the local Walmart. (I’ve worked at Walmart before and they couldn’t pay me enough to do it again.) So the consistency of my writing is subject to the particular day’s set-up as to how much I get done. Even then, the biggest factor is how much sleep I can get. But anyway, I have a few projects I’m considering or putzing at.
First, I have been working on a third book in “The Keeper” series for a couple of years, partially due to the fact so many people felt that series was left open-ended but mainly because I originally intended to write a third book. However, early last year that story took a different turn than anticipated, and I haven’t been able to get back on track with it.
Second, there are tons of writing contests right now, but all of them seem to have the same deadline of January 31, except one that charges an entry fee equal to two weeks worth of my gasoline bill. I know, some of you are thinking I could walk for two weeks, but walking 28 miles a day in sub-zero cold isn’t an option. My plan at this point is to try getting a head-start for next year’s competitions, depending on how the rest of my life goes (code word for: this is a back-burner item which will probably end up stranded or buried in a file folder on my hard drive).
Third, I’ve dug out a few old short-stories which I plan to compile with a couple new ones and “Vigilante”, the short story I published on Amazon a few years ago as an experiment with how KDP works. Originally 8 pages long, I was of the opinion that “Vigilante” was a quarter-sized purchase at best, but the bottom limit was $.99. So, for those of you who still purchased it, I humbly thank you and will try to get you free copies of the new story collection when it is ready for publication. In the meantime, that is awaiting review, but I like to let things collect a little dust before that step so I look at it with refreshed eyes. Please don’t judge me for not hiring a professional editor, but I barely make rent every month, I borrow internet at work and have no cable plus I work side-jobs for food, so where can I find the spare cash for that? Believe me, there are plenty of companies out there willing to take money up front to advise new writers. I made the mistake of “requesting more information” on a writing services website and now my email fills up every week with salesmen with a smooth tongue and an extended hand. I don’t trust salesmen. This is three quarters of the reason I hate mall stores.
Fourth, I have a few longer stories which I never quite finished. Those I’m starting to sort through to see what is workable and what isn’t. So, far there are two which have some potential, a western and a scifi.
Given that I don’t anticipate another major move this year, I have few excuses to get my fancy pants moving, and now that I’ve said that, my screenwriter friend will remind me of that at any opportunity. 🙂
Sorry for the lack of inspirational discussion in this post. Just wanted to update anyone interested on what I might have coming up and see if anyone has a particular interest in any particular project. I welcome any input. Please feel free to comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org even if you just feel like saying ‘hi’.
Hope you have a great week and thanks for taking a minute to read this!