Writing Fiction — Again

person holding blue ballpoint pen writing in notebook
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Recently I announced the end of my Practically Paperless with Obsidian series. After 30 episodes, I felt it was time to bring that series to a close before it’s practical use ran out. Also, I was getting tired of writing about Obsidian. There is something very meta about writing about a tool I use to write. It is something I have done frequently over the life of this blog when I could be writing other things.

Among those other things that I’ve felt the itch to write is fiction. Back in January 2021, I wrote about my five year struggle with writer’s block–specifically when it comes to fiction writing. When I wrote that piece, I wasn’t sure if I would be able to write fiction again, or if I’d even have the desire to do it. I didn’t mind too much, since I find plenty of enjoyment just writing here on the blog. But lately, the desire to write stories has been creeping back in. With the conclusion of my Practically Paperless series coming up next week, I thought that perhaps I could fill that void with some fiction writing once again.

I grabbed a blank Composition Book from the shelf and jotted down brief notes for three stories that have been thinking about. These notes are little more than a few lines briefly outlining the gist of each story. Yesterday, I picked one of the stories, and began to write–by hand–right there in the Composition Book. I wrote a single page in my semi-legible cursive handwriting. Call it 275 words or so. That was it. But I finished the page with a promise to myself to write some more today. And so, after this post is written, I’ll return to the notebook and add some more words to the story and see how it goes.

I generally don’t outline my stories. I get an idea, I think of how the story will end, and I go from there. But given my past difficulties, I felt I needed a little more guidance, and thus the notes that briefly outline the gist of the stories. The notes provide guidance and direction, but also remind me that there is more to write each day.

I’m writing in the Composition Book to get away from the computer. Most of the fiction writing I have done in the past had been done on computer and so it seemed wise to avoid the familiar when getting back into the swing of things. I decided that for these three stories, I’d write my first drafts in the Composition Book and write subsequent drafts on the computer.

There are no deadlines. I have no thought of whether I’ll send out these stories for submission or not. For now, I’m focused on just getting a draft finished. When I do that, the challenge becomes getting the next draft finished. If I like what I’ve written then maybe I’ll share it with my writer’s group, or a few trusted readers. If not, well, I’ve got a few other ideas to chase down.

I’ve never been a fast fiction writer. My stories emerge slowly and so I have learned to be patient with them. I’m not in any rush, but it would be nice to at least finish a draft. If I could do that, it would be worth a little celebration on my part.

Postscript, May 19: Since writing this post, I’ve worked on the story every morning, except one and I estimate I’ve written about 4,000 words to this point. I think I’m at roughly the halfway mark. It could be that in a week or so, I’ll have complete the first story draft I written in quite a few years. Stay-tuned.

Written on May 14, 2022.

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One comment

  1. This is an odd coincidence. Just before I came here to read this, I sent a message to friend that I might write a short story—I haven’t written fiction in several decades. Non-fiction, yes but not fiction. I haven’t even had the urge to.

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