Fiction-writing progress, 2012, week 9

I wrote 1,200 words for all of last week, all in one day. That was it. No writing since. There are two problems:

  1. I am too busy with other things
  2. I am too tired once I have time available

My efforts seemed pretty simple at the start of the year. Write 500 words of fiction each day. That’s 30 minutes. It’s not that I don’t have the ideas. But so far, I’ve written a total of just over 25,00o words. Pace should have me at 32,000 words. What’s worse, I’ve written on 26 separate days this year. Out of 65.

It’s not often that I begin to feel my efforts are futile and that I should just give up. But I’ve felt like that the last couple of weeks. At night, drifting off to sleep, I wonder if maybe I just wasn’t cut out to be a science fiction writer. I’ve managed to get a few stories published, but I can’t seem to gain the consistency that I see others getting. In part that’s because I can’t seem to write enough to get the practice I need to improve. It reminds me of why I gave up flying. I didn’t think I could fly frequently enough to improve my skills, and I wasn’t going to fly if I wasn’t in tip-top shape, as far as flying went.

Still, a voice in my head tells me to hang in there, keep at it, scribble a few words here and there as you can find the time. This is just an exceptionally busy time. Things will get better. Or so the voice says. I’m not one to give up, but I will admit that waking up each day and not having to worry about whether I got my writing done seems like a big weight of my shoulders. On the other hand, I’ve got 3 stories right now in various stages of completion and any one of those could be the one. And besides, I really like to write stories. Even if no one else but me and an editor reads them, I like writing them. I’m not sure I could give that up even if I wanted to.

Forgive me for being a bit maudlin today. I’m tired. I’m busy with work. And I’m a little frustrated with my own writing. I feel like I should be better than I am at this point, like I’m not making the kind of forward progress I should be making. But that’s just frustration talking.

I still have one story out at the moment. It’s been out for 44 days. It would be nice to get a few more out.


  1. Jamie, I support you. This is a really busy time for you and one I recognize because I have been there. Frustration, not enough stories out, not enough days for writing, yes yes yes. You will make it. This isn’t homework; you might be delayed, but so long as you’re still writing, you haven’t failed. If you just keep plugging along, you’ll get through this part and it will be worth it. Sending cheers your way.

  2. I just set myself on a similar routine, and so far have managed to meet or exceed that goal. With me, I can blend it in on the job; constant computer, with breaks I can sit at the desk on. But I get tired. Things get busy, and the time has to be used for other things. I can relate.

    Also, when you can pump out such fine material as is in your vacation series and you column, I say you well meet your goals in overall catagory!


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