Years ago I could polish off a 5k story in a weekend plus two or three days of editing before submitting. As I shifted into novelettes and novellas writing a complete story turned into a months-long process. When the market for novellas dwindled I attempted to learn to write short once more only to find it more difficult because I had become used to having the freedom of more involved plots and descriptive material. It took a few years but I did find my way back.
But I discovered that the story ideas didn't fly as they once did. I told myself it was because I now had higher standards that required more thoughtful approaches, but that was self delusion. Perhaps it was a function of having drained my creative pool, being distracted by work, or simply illness - a cold, a headache, or an upset stomach. But those were transitory and could not explain why the blank white screen remained so difficult to fill with words, words, words.
I noticed long ago that short story writers tend to have a limited literary life, appearing less frequently as they shifted into producing or writing novels or quitting entirely. Is this happening to me? Could I be descending into the ephemeral hole of forgotten writers, a fading phantasm of what I aspired to become? Or, most worrisome of all, is this an early warning of a declining mind, dementia, or, worst of all for a writer, the early signs of Alzheimers? The only bright spot in those horrid possibilities is that at some point I will be able to read my own work for the first time. But putting that aside, I continue to struggle to write words that the tide will soon wash away.
Maybe it's time to write something humorous...?