I finished a novelette at the start of the year, the first piece of fiction I have started and finished for a while. It’s not that I haven’t been writing, as a freelancer in the games industry I have spent most of my evenings writing, but I haven’t written a piece of fiction that wasn’t directly related to a table top miniatures or role playing game for a number of years. Then things got busy. I intended to write more fiction, had plans in notebooks, word docs, on scraps. I intended to write on this blog on a weekly basis, but my freelance work kicked back into gear in early February, and I have been occupied. It may not seem much by the standards of many writers out there, but I have written and submitted around 100,000 words over the course of the year so far, for seven or eight different books that will see publication over the next year or two. At the start of the year I had the goal of drafting a novel, and now, in September, I am worried that I won’t be able to hit that goal.
I went back recently and started to edit through the story I wrote at the beginning of the year. Aside from a general tightening, there are still things I am thinking of changing, aspects of characters, aspects of the setting, and as a science fiction story, I am concerned the descriptions of spaceflight are scientifically inaccurate despite my research. I am still mulling over whether to cut it down to 6000 words and make it a short story, or whether to continue the story (I have plenty of ideas), and make it part of a larger plot. I also have a bunch of story ideas that have been kicking around and variously demanding attention. In short, I am getting the itch to write fiction again.
This is a repeated refrain: I want to write fiction. I need to make sure I am disciplined enough to make it happen, to dedicate time to it. I also have freelance work I need to get done. I should also make a point of writing here more regularly than one lone update every few months. What is that stops me writing fiction? I have freelance work to get done, a family to spend time with, a day-job to do. I procrastinate over which idea I should write. I worry about slowing down on the freelance work. I am concerned my fiction just isn’t very good.
I know what I need to do, but doing it is difficult. Stop worrying. Easier written than done. Stop worrying and move at my own pace. Don’t do too much, at least so much that I am dragging myself from bed in the morning or have a hard time engaging with my family after work. I need to permit myself to slow down on the freelance work and give myself time to write the fiction I want to write. I need to understand that my fiction probably isn’t very good, but it won’t get better if I don’t do it. I need to be better disciplined in using the time I do have. I need to pick something and just write it, knowing that it might go no-where, be no good, or need to be changed substantially. But as I wrote above, knowing some of the steps is not the same as walking the path. We shall see…