Tuesday, November 26, 2013

I wish I could write

Lately the idea of calling myself a writer makes me feel...dishonest. Kind of like considering joining the VFW because I was in Iraq during Operation: Desert Storm (incidentally, while I was there, I saw exactly four Iraqi soldiers...being escorted to a helicopter by our mechanics).

I have not actually put effort into writing fiction in months. I have written a lot of RPG-related stuff, but it's all amateur at best. Sure, I sell a bit here and there (I finally broke $100 in profits at RPGNow just this past week). But it gets listed on the main page, and is summarily buried by other new products within 72 hours. And my latest Kindle, The Pirates of Themos, is doing...underwhelmingly.

In short, I sometimes feel like a 4th grade hall monitor calling himself a cop.

So, what should I do about it? Well, write, of course. Duh! But when? Where? How? What? Between the kids, school, work, and every other bit of stress that vies for my attention, not to mention the easy accessibility to the heroin that is video games (both on the XBox and the PC), I just don't have the energy most days.

Yes, Steven Pressfield, I know it's called Resistance. And it's kicking my ass. Fortunately, I have a steady day-job to pay the bills with. If I had to live off my writing abilities, I'd probably starve. Then again, hunger is a pretty good motivator. However, that's not a risk I can put myself in right now. You know, wife, kids, etc.

I have a mid-term essay exam due on Sunday. It's pretty straight-forward, and I should be able to crank out a decent essay in short order, even with citations and whatnot. After that, I will have a research paper, and a final essay exam. Plus getting caught back up on weekly postings (sometimes online college is kind of a pain in the ass). So, it's not like I don't ever write. It's just that it's not "fun" writing anymore. I sincerely cannot wait until I am done with school. At this point, I'm not even going to think about what comes next. Only crossing that finish line and getting my piece of paper.

In the meantime, I'll try to chip away at some stories. I have several that really need finishing, and several more that need starting AND finishing.

So, here's a question that will test if you have been following along: Most of my short stories lend themselves to sequels and more stories. Which of my various characters would you most like to see more of first?


Charles Gramlich said...

I really liked the background of the Themos story. I wouldn't mind seeing other characters in that setting.

Tim Shorts said...

Congrats on the success of the RP stuff. XBox is an addiction I also battle. Especially when Ghosts was released. I feel the need to sniper.

Keith West said...

I want to see more of the world of Blackskull's Captive. Or a sequel to Blood and Sand.

Scott Oden said...

Honestly? Leave off with the short fiction and work on a longer piece, a novella or full-on novel. I know, it's more time-consuming. I know, you're having focus problems. But you need to power through it and go all butt-in-chair on something longer -- maybe set in the Empire of Sol universe, or an Orc novel . . . or the long-rumored Agesilaus novel.

Though it seems counter-intuitive, it's easier to make your mark with a novel than it is with short stories (not that any of it is actually *easy* . . .). Just my 2 cents' worth.