Saturday, October 21, 2017

One More Week

Another week has passed and my writing proceeds at a glacial pace, grinding my confidence into gravel as the perplexity of what to say next confounds me. I've tried pantsing, diagramming, outlining, and brainstorming none of which informs the plot problems or helps my progress.

When I started this writing business mumble, mumble years agoI had no problem spinning a short story in a weekend, a novelette   in a week or two, and a novella in a few months.  My novels, such as they are, take years to develop and die from the despair of the calendar.  In the past year I've noticed a diminution of the joie de vivre that formerly infused me while composing. Instead I scribble a sentence, change it, change it again, and decide to write something different.  Could this be because I now recognize how poorly I've been writing?  Have I developed taste at long last?  Or is it that I now deliberate more on phrasing, structure, and message than I had before - such is the problem of my increasing (?) skill, but that does not explain my inability to produce on demand.

You'd think that coming up with new story ideas would become easier with practice, that facility with flowing words onto the page would become easier, or that adhering to the tropes of the genre would become second nature.  Instead I find myself burdened with doubts and misgivings.  Scattered portions of poorly thought out scenes litter my writing files, awaiting some magical pass that will gather them into a coherent structure from which I could wrest into something that wouldn't embarrass me.

So another week has passed and I've done a little work on two short stories, laid out the possible slot  structure to finish a novel in progress, started a possible novella, read four novels, and two magazines -- oh look! the new Analog and Asimov's have arrived* -- tried to debate the wisdom of opening a Patreon account and wondering what I might offer that would be worth anything.  And yet here I sit, writing this screed instead of working on one of my unfinished projects.

Who knew writing could be so hard?

*There goes another day at least!

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