I’ve been reading, recharging, and working slowly on a short story (while I mentally wrestle with the reminder that I should be writing my novel). It’s been a good week. I’ve decided not to shoot for the 2k a day wordcounts, but lowering it and taking my time with the novel. It isn’t a race. Taking 4 months to write a first draft instead of 3 really doesn’t make a difference in the turning of my world.
Then I ran across some advice from Mike Resnick this morning which clicked with the instant awesomeness of fitting that last piece into that crazy 1000 piece puzzle you thought you’d never figure out. Paraphrasing here, he offered his approach that while he writes several novels a year (because they pay the bills, not the short stories), that he breaks from those novels to work on short stories.
My poor brain has been trying to do that, and I’ve been throwing buckets of guilt at it. So I’m embracing Mr. Resnick’s advice. I’m going to allow myself a few days a month to indulge in the short stories without feeling guilty and poking my brain the wrong way. It doesn’t take long to write a short story — unless I’m torn about it. And that guilt has screwed up my productivity.
No more guilt. I’m going to get this story finished up today and tomorrow then throw myself back into the novel.
I owe Mr. Resnick a big thanks. I might have to go buy one of his books and have him sign it at Worldcon. The only problem is, he’s written so much. Where the hell do I start?
So what about you? Has someone given you advice when you were floundering that just instantly grounded you?