Keeping those dry spells short

I find that when I spend a day doing writing-related work, but not writing, I go into the wrong rabbit hole and get away from my story. This is a pattern I now recognize.

And as with all patterns, we can look at them as self-contained little programs: they have a trigger, they execute certain actions, and they have an (often elusive) off-switch.

So, now that I am finally recognizing this pattern, I can expect the off-switch, in fact, I can accelerate the program by eliminating many of the repetitive strings of behavior that take place before despair forces a new action (and a new program).

My writing program can be overwhelming at times, and I’ve come to understand that if I relax some of that binge-writing behavior, I can sustain a writing practice for longer – or, more realistically, I can keep the distraction program at bay. It will still appear and it will still run, but knowing that a thing has an ending makes it easier to endure.

Like all that advice when you have a bad break-up that boils down to “this too shall pass,” while feeling like nonsense in the moment, is 100% true (if you let it, that is).

So, I saw the end of the thing, I made some good use of the distracting functions within the larger program itself, and now I’m heading back to the writing program – literally and figuratively.

This post also appears on my Patreon where you can read my flash story, “Quiet,” at the paid tier. Starting in 2024, I’ll be posting new fiction for the paid tiers each month, so look forward to that announcement in December 2023. Thanks!

Wound Season 2 Finished – phew

I originally started writing Wound back in 2021 to try out the new Kindle Vella platform. I’d been posting some other stories (The Shape of Us and others) with other venues and enjoyed the process of writing an episodic story. While I’ve had some qualms about the Vella platform (no one knows about it, the top stories rarely change) the biggest issue has been my inconsistency with publishing. I’m the Togashi Yoshihiro of Vella authors. Though, without two beloved franchises and a large fan base. I’ve just got the intermittency down pat.

But this week I wrote the last three episodes of Season 2 (ep. 48-50), and the last episode will be live on November 10th – this Friday. Boy, am I happy.

The trouble was episode 47. There was a lot I already had written about Paul’s experience in the Town Hall, and some of the most important dialogue I’d already worked out, but I couldn’t’ see how I could move into nor out of that episode. It was as dark to me as it was to Paul, though he can see in the dark now, so whatever Paul, you jerk!

Then I realized that I could use that to my advantage and, as Dean Wesley Smith says, just “write into the dark.” It didn’t matter what I wanted to happen, or how the next scene would start. I just needed to write the next sentence and let the characters figure it out.

It worked–because of course it worked. It’s even worked for me before and it works every time I re-remember that this is what writing is about. Not plotting or scaffolding or snowflaking, at least not for me. Writing has to be fun and scary and unknown.

I dove in and let Paul tell me what to write. I fought with him a bit here and there, mostly to get him angry, but then we went somewhere I didn’t expect, someplace not on my story GPS. It scared me. And because it scared me, it scared Paul. Good!*

So, if you’d like to read Wound, all 50 episodes so far, I’d love to hear your comments. Season 3 is bubbling up in my head right now, but I’m not going to let it stew too long. I’m gonna jump right in and drown.

*Don’t worry about Paul. He’s an ass, but I love him and will celebrate and torture him as much as possible.

[Vella] Wound Episode 48 – Shine a Light

The full title is Wound Season 2: Slake – Episode 48 – Shine a Light – Bev, but that is ridiculously long. The third to last episode of Season 2 is up now for your reading pleasure. We’re closing in on a turn of events that will make our fractured and dysfunctional group of survivors seem like a well-adjusted team.

Narrator: They are not.

The final two episodes will be out shortly and then I’ll be getting Season 3 ready. I’m hoping to have that going before the turkey holiday. Check out the first 3 episodes free.