You’ve probably noticed the lack of regular posting for the last couple of weeks. Without going into too much sordid detail, I thought I’d touch on that just a bit.
I usually compose most of my blog writing at night, when Norm is working, then post it sometime the next day, taking only a few minutes to insert links or citations where needed. And while I read every day, I’ve not read as much in the past few years as I really would like to.
This all changed a few weeks ago when I found my muse.
As a few of my blog pals may know, I’ve long wanted to write professionally. Oftentimes I get started on a project, only to get bogged down in the details of a story to the point that the story itself stops. These tend to get discarded or saved as “brainstorm” files on my laptop, barely to be regarded again by even my own eyes. Even those 20-30 stories that I eventually got around to finishing have never seen the light of day except for a few close friends (who flatter me by telling me they like them).
The advent of the soon-to-be-concluded writer’s strike left me with more time to consider the best use of my time alone while the husband is at work. I tried live-blogging Idol but no one really cared too much, and frankly I can beat my head against a wall for only so long before it hurts. And so I finally read Stephen King’s On Writing, which turned out to be the most informative handbook I’ve ever read for writing fiction.
Understand, if you can, that I’ve long had the basics down for grammar and structure, all the mechanics of “proper writing technique.” But it wasn’t until reading the King book that I realized how I was limiting myself in the simplest of ways, getting bogged down in the rewrite before I’d even finished the story I wanted to tell. Trying to find clever phrasing in order to impress the reader with my high-falutin’ wide range o’knowledge. Nickle-and-diming my fiction to death. Killing my darlings before they’re even born.
So here’s what I’ve been doing: reading and writing. Not only did I finish a few short stories, but I’m on the 50th page of what I think might be my first novella. I’ve never gotten that far before, and I’m really excited about it.
So if you’re wondering where I am, what I’m doing, now you know.