Writing and Writing

handwriting on paper
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Forgive me readers, it has been ten days since my last blog post. Things seem to have gone off the rails a bit here, and I am now trying to get the trains–or posts in this case–to run on time again. What’s happened, I think, is that I have been writing and writing, but not writing posts.

Maybe it is a character flaw on my part, but when my fiction writing is going well, I don’t feel the same compulsion to write here on the blog. I have to force it, and when I have to force something, I have a tendency to skip it instead. Like I said, a character flaw. I suppose the well of creativity I draw from has its limits. I can use it for writing blog posts, or stories, but when I try using it for both, it diminishes each. I noted this to myself in my journal back on May 19. I’ve been aware of it for some time, I suppose.

Back in the day–say, 2013-15–I was writing and selling fiction and writing on the blog every day, and I have looked back on that time lately wondering how it was possible then, and not possible now. The answer, I think, comes in two parts: (1) was nearly ten years younger and had more energy (and fewer kids); and (2) I didn’t hold myself to as high standards as I do today when it comes to my writing. In other words, I didn’t mind drawing from the well for both fiction and blogging. I knew what I was doing wasn’t quite as good, but I did it anyway.

I love writing for this blog, but it has also always been fairly easy for me to do it. Finding stories to tell, finding the voices of the characters, all the pieces that eventually come together, that is much harder, and more elusive. When it comes, I don’t want to lose it. And that probably explains the lack of posts these last ten days.

Back on June 27, I mentioned that after three drafts, I set aside a story I was working on in order to give me some room to think about the problems with it, especially problems in the second half. Instead, I decided to start the first draft of another story. That is what I have been working on each morning. This is a much longer story, or so it seems at this point. Since that time, I’ve got 26 handwritten pages of the story and it seems like I am just getting started. I look forward to working on it each morning. It is the first thing I do after returning from my morning walk, during the quiet time that exists in the house before everyone wakes up and starts their day.

At the same time, I have been missing writing here, and I am working on making some adjustments to my routine to ensure that I can keep it up: three posts a week, as I had been trying to do before this most recent interruption. Lists often help in this regard and I’ve listed out a bunch of topics for posts that I’ve been wanting to write. Getting ahead of things also helps, so I am determined to get several of those posts written and scheduled today–after I finish my day’s work on this story later this morning.

Currently, I am only writing for about 30-60 minutes each morning. I don’t force things if I can help it. But I am looking for ways to build my stamina when it comes to my writing. I’ll be retiring from my day job in about 9 years and once retired, I’ll have a lot more time to write, which means I’ll need the ability to sustain my writing for longer periods of time. I look at this time as practice leading up to that, the way a marathon runner might start out running a mile each morning, and working their way up from there.

Right now, I’m no marathon runner, but I hope to at least be able to get my fiction writing done each day, and get a few new blog posts published each week. We’ll see how that goes.

Written on July 10, 2022.

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