Raise your hands if you’re like me. You read. Relentlessly. You buy books. Relentlessly. There is always a stack of books on your nightstand or in the corner or spread out throughout the house. The stack grows bigger and your frustration that you can’t read it all matches that growth. You are a reader, faced with a mountain of reading material that grows and grows and grows. And there are so many books you wanted to buy but you haven’t because, well, you know. You don’t have the time.
Then you become a writer. You start small. A story here, a poem there. A novel gets done. And then something happens. You develop a writing stack just like your reading stack. The ideas percolate and become words on the screen. New documents. And you don’t have the time to work on all of them, let alone complete them. Your frustration grows and grows and grows. There are so many stories you want to tell but you haven’t because, well, you know. You don’t have the time.
That’s where I’m at. The writing stack is beginning to match the reading stack. My three half-completed novels sit gathering e-dust on my hard drive, while I’m suddenly distracted by three major short stories that I’m working on. How the hell did that happen? These stories will most likely all end up being somewhere between 10,000 and 20,000 words. One of them is prompting me to imagine a series of three similar stories — because it really won’t work unless it’s a part of a series.
The good news is that I’m finding a way to work on one or two of those three short stories almost every day. So, I’m writing regularly again. The bad news is … well, maybe there isn’t any bad news. I’m writing. Bit by bit, I’m writing. While the stack grows.
By the way, for regular readers who have seen bits and pieces of my work posted here, the three short stories are:
A major addition to Northville Five & Dime, prompted by discussions at the writing workshop regarding that story. As posted way back when, it was just shy of 2,000 words I think. It’s now approaching 4,000 words and there is much, much more to write.
Continuing on with Deviation, using the Seven Day Story Challenge over at We Drink Because We’re Poets to keep the boys moving forward The story is now at 5,902 words and yes, there is much, much more to write.
The Lobbyist, a new story prompted by, well, let’s just say it’s a whole new approach to writing for me. That’s all I’m going to tell you. 🙂
One of the things I’ve decided to do with each of these is publish them as individual pieces for Kindle. Each story will be long enough for me to justify doing so. They’ll be able to stand on their own. I’m curious to see what will happen if I start publishing single stories like that — not novel length, but somewhere between long short story and novella. Charge .99 and see what happens. I’m convinced that one way to try to make this self-publishing gig work is to increase the volume. Maintain quality, but get more stuff out there.