Monthly Archives: December 2011

Back in the Saddle

November’s writing burn-out has faded and I’ve waded back into the shallow end of the writing pool. My first short story out of the ten I plan to write for the new book has turned into a full blown novella. That’s okay, though, because it gives me more room to explore and it gives me more words to cull later.

I’m getting much better at culling. Oddly I’ve learned it via editing an entirely different format: audio. I record and edit two podcasts now, one about the joy of absinthe and the other about zombies and wonderfully bad sci-fi. I think I’ve developed a pretty good ear, cutting what isn’t necessary, probably because of the rules of writing: make every word count. But what’s made me a better audio editor is crossing back over and making me an even better story editor.

I think the ah-hah I’m trying to promote here is one of cross-development. I know in the corporate world, it’s a good thing to get your feet wet in different parts of the business so that you can bring your experience and POV to a different set of circumstances.

Same thing seems to also work in creative endeavors.

If you’re a writer, have you ever tried your hand at editing audio or video? I know my friend Melanie does … I need to ask her about that.

A Downside to NaNoWriMo?

Don’t get me wrong, I love NaNoWriMo. I’ve been participating on and off since it first began. I think it’s great to help kick-start a novel project, especially for those who would never have started one in the first place.

For me, however, there’s a side effect … and I wonder if I share it with other writers out there: After forcing myself to crank out over 50,000 words in one month, for quite a while afterwards I have no desire to write. At all.

I don’t work on manuscripts only in November. I work on them all year around. It’s what I do. Except now … I need a vacation from my manuscripts.

I seem to remember this happens every time, and every November I seem to forget and jump in again. I’m pretty sure, in fact, that I’ve written on this same subject before. I’ll have to go back and check after I hit publish.

I would love to take a writing vacation. I would love to give up writing fiction altogether. Imagine that! All that free time to do mindless things, like play video games all night long (which I did last night), or get caught up on all that TV I never watched. Sometimes I really wish I could do that.

Alas, it’s never going to happen. I’ve been working on these stories for so long, thinking about the characters, collecting traits, plots, and ideas, that I can’t stop. It’s a compulsion. Fortunately for me it’s something I usually enjoy — I do it for me.

But for the next few weeks at least I’m going to take a vacation.