Monday, August 27, 2012

Teaching An Old Dog New Tricks

I’ve been going through one of the worst writing slumps of my career and believe me when I say I’ve been through some pretty bad ones. I’ve tried all of my usual tricks. I’ve forced myself to write, I’ve reread the MS, I’ve allowed myself to take a break and still NOTHING! This hasn’t lasted for days or even weeks, but literally for months. *hangs head in shame*

My daughter Keshia, who is also an author, has suggested on more than one occasion that I should take a break from my current WIP and write a short story. I smile and nod thinking, Why would I do that? I need to spend my time working on my novel. (Insert long drawn out sigh.) Crazy Kids…they think they have all the answers.

Not taking her advice, I’ve continued to write chapter after chapter of things I end up deleting, not because I’m being overly critical, but because they are honestly pitiful.

As I whine and complain, she has continued to encourage me to try the short story. Finally giving in—not because I thought she was right—but to shut her up (sorry daughter) I sat down to my computer and pulled up a new document, with new characters, and new ideas.

The story flowed! To an author, those three words are magic. THANK YOU Keshia. I’ll never doubt you again…until the next time you tell me something I don’t agree with. J

If you are a seasoned writer, someone wanting to get their feet wet, or somewhere in between, you might want to give this short story thing a try. One of my publishers, Spencer Hill Press, is taking submissions for short stories dealing with time. You can find more information here.