Tuesday 16 September 2014

On Works In Progress

Once again, a month has slipped past since my last post. I'm really not sure where the time goes.

All the stuff I'd finished last month is still bubbling along, but I wrote a new short story for a competition over at the ever-shiny http://thecultofme.blogspot.co.uk/

I've also had my attention drawn to a new anthology, whose theme fits almost perfectly with a short story I'm already writing. As with the Costa competition entry and the Cult of Me short fiction contest, I don't rate my chances, but it's a perfect opportunity to give me a bit of a push to get the story completed.

And that's the problem with being an aspiring writer, in a nutshell. I find that writing breeds ideas for more writing. If I've been contracted to write something, I knuckle down and get on with it, making a note of any other ideas somewhere else. When I'm writing spec stuff, or producing material to self-publish, however, there's no particular reason to prioritise the development of one idea over any other. I tend to float around, doing a few hundred words here, editing a bit there, on any one of half a dozen different projects.

At the moment I have, in no particular order, three half-written short stories, two novellas and a half dozen vague ideas in a notebook. There are also a few short stories that I've started and then abandoned. I might go back to them later, who knows?

The result of this approach is that it takes a lot longer to finish everything. I'm not just messing about, I do serious work on these projects, but I rarely seem to stick around long enough to finally complete anything.

I've usually got at least a couple of short stories that are just a solid evening's work away from being finished. But I need a bit of a push to actually do that solid evening's work. Finding out about a relevant competition, or anthology market, preferably with an imminent deadline, well, that usually does it nicely.

I salute anyone that can stick to one project and see it through to completion without deviation...

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