Tuesday, October 1, 2013

The State of My Writing...

(Image from Wikipedia Commons)

My Old Blog was all about my writing, but I regret to say that it became neglected and long-ignored, largely because I wasn't doing enough writing to have much of a reason to update it.

So does that mean I am done with writing? Am I only going to focus on the music I create, like I did in the Last Post I made? Has the Muse of writing finally left me, never to return?

No. Not at all.  Although, as a side note -- there really doesn't appear to be a Muse dedicated to the kind of mysteries and speculative fiction I like to do.  The nine Muses are Calliope (epic poetry), Clio (history), Erato (love poetry), Euterpe (song and Elegiac poetry, whatever that is), Melpomene (tragic theater), Polyhymnia (hymns), Terpsichore (dance), Thalia (comedic theater), and Urania (astronomy). None of them seem to cover mysteries, science fiction, and other forms of speculative fiction..  So maybe it's not that the Muse has left me; it's that I never had one to begin with.  Hmmm...

But be that as it may, my point is, as Confuscious said, “It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”  Or, as I say, "I ain't done yet."

I am still going to write and I want to do much more of it.  What has happened in the last year or so was just a very long lull of non-production in the midst of a glacial pace of completion.  And now I'm going to move past it...

However, I do have to announce that my main WIP has officially and completely become a WOOP (Work Out Of Process). The novel I've struggled with for several years has formally been retired.  I do think there could be a good story in there someplace, but I could never seem to get my arms around it.  The overall flow never seemed to solidify, even after several complete revisions.  The plot never came together in a satisfying way, the characters never felt true-to-life, and the writing always felt forced.  So it's been shelved. 

That's both disappointing and liberating.  Disappointing because I really wanted to "finish" it, and now I'm pretty sure I never will. But liberating because I can now step away from it and move on to other things.  And it wasn't a total waste -- the years of attempts were a tremendous learning experience.  When I compare the writing of some of my very first drafts with that from my last ones, I can really see significant growth as a writer. So that's a definite positive to take away from the experience.

So then where am I now as a writer?

Well, still developing, still growing, and yes -- still writing.  Just slowly.  Because I also have other creative outlets (as this blog will show), and because I'm only a part-time writer even at my best.  Truthfully, at this stage of my life, ALL this stuff I'll talk about on my blog is hobby activity.  I've got a full-time job, a fabulous wife, two great stepkids, and an awesome sorta-step-kinda-semi-adopted-daughter and an amazing granddaughter who live with us. Plus all the other life things that want a little slice of my free time.

But yes, I still write, and I'm going to continue.  I currently have two ideas churning for a new novel-length WIP, several short stories in various stages of incomplete-ness, and other thoughts about potential stories.

Some of these will eventually come to completion, and --  who knows -- even though my success-to-submission ratio is still "Oh-for-All of them," I just might get something published that I can point you to.

If that ever happens, I promise to not keep it a secret. :)

In the meantime, I'll keep slowly stumbling ahead...


  1. First off, I listened to your music in the last post, and I loved it. One of the wonderful things about life is we aren't limited to following a single passion. There's a virtual smorgasbord of things to do, and however you choose to express yourself, whatever creativity flows from you... it's all good.

    As for not having a muse dedicated to your genre. Pbbbt. I say write what you want to read. If you love it, others will, too.

    Hey! I can honestly say I'm your number one follower... cool! Good luck with your new blog.

  2. I don't think I ever had a muse either.
    Writing has taken a back seat to my guitar playing now. I still have an outline for another book, but don't know if I'll attempt it. Even with three books, I still never want to be a full time writer.
    You're actually in a good place. Enjoy it and see what happens.

  3. To cite an ancient Greek in keeping with your roots about the muses: "Slow and steady wins the race." :) Just keep at it!

  4. Oh, my gosh, Chris, I really loved this post. So down-to-earth and genuine and with such an easy flow. I'm sipping a cup of Earl Grey tea as I read it and feel as though I was having a wonderful conversation with you. Well done on having the courage to know when to stop. Well done on recognizing that nothing is ever lost; that the strides you made while the WOOP was 'in process' were worthy accomplishments in and of themselves. This post, and this new blog, is so very sagely self-aware. Gold star.

  5. @Susan: Thanks, I appreciate that! And I happily welcome my #1 follower!

    @Alex: I always welcome your support, Cap'n! And I'd love to hear how the playing's going. I also have a way for us to jam together if you're into it. Read my post later this week...

    @Faith: Thanks, and I will! I appreciate the support. And congratulations again!!!

    @Suze: Aw, thanks, Suze. That's very kind. I try to cultivate my self-awareness, but the problem is that my awareness usually comes well AFTER the fact ("Oh dang!!! I shouldn't have done that! What was I thinking?!?!") :)

  6. Don't stumble ...trudge! It's a perfect speed limit for lots of things! And as far as WIP to WOOP is concerned, I think a lot of us have had that transition happen multiple times, especially with the first draft of a first novel. I'm working on my first, and a year ago, I had the entire thing in TATTERS because I hated it so much (oh, and loved it so much, too!)

    I think what's going to happen is you will focus on music for a while and then, sooner or later, you'll have to write again. Just my opinion. So glad you're bloggin, cuz bloggin' keeps the noggin' from foggin' and cloggin.'

  7. @ R.T: Oh yeah -- the writing bug still has me in its steel jaws. It's just that the output will probably be measured in words-per-week rather than words-per-hour... ;)

  8. Well, I'm extremely happy to know you're back into the blogging arena! I think it is fantastic that you have so many artistic tendencies. It gets really hard to make time for everything we enjoy but as long as you are happy, things will work out. Time will come, eventually. Just enjoy the ride and smile! =)

    1. @Georgina: Thank you very much, Gina! I love your positive outlook and really appreciate your support!

  9. I sure hope Confucius is right -- I haven't stopped, but if I were any slower, I'd be going backward! I hope you can balance music, writing, and whatever else makes you happy. I'm always so impressed by your crits on DL's Write Stuff bouts. They're very insightful, and as far as I'm concerned, right on the money. Have a good weekend! :-)

  10. Welcome back, Chris! Do what you love and love what you do, right?

  11. @Lexa: thank you -- I hope so, too. It's a juggling act, lol. And thatk you for the kind words about my Write club feedback. I appreciate that -- I just try to give more than a "loved it!" or "hated it!" and say things that I'd want to hear as a writer. It's not easy when I'm giving feedback that's not positive because I know how much a piece of writing can mean to a writer, but I hope I'm always at least constructive, and that in some small way, it helps the writer. but hey -- I'm no expert and it's really just one guy's opinion... And I hope you had a good weekend, also!

    @Milo: Hi Milo! thanks! And yes -- you are absolutely right!


Don't be shy -- feel free to comment. I really appreciate your thoughts.