I don’t seem to be doing too well. I’m not able to stick to any schedule. So in the morning it’s whether or not to write. This is a question I never asked myself during years of writing novels. I’ve tried to blame my vacillation on the weather, but I know that doesn’t make sense.
Still, yesterday as the snow fell it was more a reading day to me than a writing day. I started off reading in bed, then moved to the living room and sat in a big comfy chair. Although I could see the snow easily from my bedroom, the living room afforded me many more windows to watch through if I looked over my reading glasses.
But weather isn’t an excuse I would’ve taken if I had a contract for a novel. Or maybe even if I was writing a novel without one. I’m not sure this short story thing is for me. I’ve always known that short story writing was an art unto itself. And I always believed some people could and some couldn’t and I counted myself among the latter.
I’m used to the build of a novel, the many characters, the freedom . A short story needs to be what it says: a story that’s short. Concise. It’s true that my novels have become lean in style, but there’s still a license that I don’t find in writing a short story.
I’ve written most of one story and the beginning of another. I do like that I can go to any story I want on any given day. Or start a new one without finishing another that I decide I’ll go back to. Writing a novel I wouldn’t dream of starting a new chapter without finishing the last.
It worries me that if I start a novel my expectations will rise up and bite me. I have an idea but it isn’t a burning idea. It doesn’t keep me up at night or take my mind away from what I’m doing. It’s just an idea.
I do believe I’d be more disciplined if I was writing a novel. But so what? I see that I can start writing after nine in the morning. That’s one thing that trying to write stories has given me. I don’t have to be as inflexible as in the past.
So what if I started writing a novel and didn’t use my rigid schedule? Would the novel writing police arrive? Of course I’m the novel writing police. What if I give writing a novel in a more relaxed fashion a chance? Although trying to write at least four days a week. I think I’d be happier than attempting short stories and not getting to my desk more than two days a week at most.
There’s no one to stop me except me. Still, I’ll have to stick to one rigidity. I’d never start a novel on a Thursday. I’ll think about this and then if that’s what I want to do I’ll start on Monday.
I feel anxious simply thinking about it. Maybe I have to let go of what day I start. Maybe I have to let what happens happen. Ohmigod!