I really should ransack the entire Blackadder series for quotes to use for subject headings. I’ve got tons of material to work with. Anyway, the actual dialogue goes like this:
Shelley: Oh lovelorn ecstasy that is Mrs Miggins, wilt thou bring me one cup of the browned juices of that naughty bean we call coffee, ere I die?
Mrs Miggins: [giggles] Oh, you’ve a way with words about you, Mr Shelley.
Byron: To hell with his fine talking; COFFEE, WOMAN! [coughs] My consumption grows ever more acute and Coleridge’s drugs are wearing off!
Time’s finally sinking in. It’s June, and while the middle of the year technically won’t be till the end of the month, the fact that we’re already at that point is finally feeling more and more real to me. Okay, I guess it’s more accurate if I were to say that I’m finally accepting it…
…in very much the same way that I’m coming to terms with changes. One of the posts I made regarding this – an entry that I turned into a private post instead – went over issues I’ve been having regarding burnout and so on as well as my decision to simplify. I went on and on about limiting my output to two novels a year and nothing else while supplementing that with non-LGBT short stories, one of which I’ve already finished, polished up, and submitted to JMS Books.
After a month away from it, I tried to go back to Helleville, and none of my efforts amounted to anything. I remained just as fatigued and uninterested in the story as I was before I took that break. It was just as well that I had Rose and Spindle also waiting to be worked on again; at least I was able to shift gears and focus on that, and I guess the fact that that book is about 2/3 of the way done had something to with my motivation coming back to it.
Funny how things work out over time. When I first started out, I thought that I’d go on forever as a full-time novelist. Four years later, I’m struggling with every novel I work on, which makes me wonder if limiting my output to two longer books per year is the wrong approach in the end. Maybe I’m better off focusing on shorter fiction instead – novelettes and novellas at most – and publishing them more frequently.
I’ll admit that the marathon slog involved in novel-writing is getting more and more difficult for me, and I’ve done pretty much everything that other writers recommended whenever blocks or burnout happens, which includes multi-tasking, something I’ve never been good at. I’ll do anything to keep myself going, but at the same time, if something rather obvious continues to get in the way of things, it’s high time that I come to terms with it, right?
Yep, I have been thinking more and more about the benefits of writing shorter fiction, the biggest one being my issues regarding burnout. The second benefit is one that my publisher discussed with me, and that involves providing teens with shorter stuff that they can read in one sitting, using their mobile devices and so on. Sure, I’d love to reach out to that market, and I’m also guessing that shorter fiction from me means less risk on the part of readers who aren’t familiar with my writing. I’m sure that in some cases, the less of me to read, the better. :)
I don’t know about other writers, but I do have a hard time letting go of certain habits and beliefs. It’s this that keeps me from making decisions right away and experiencing a smoother transition from Point A to Point B. It’s very annoying, and I wish I weren’t so hung up on things like this, but that’s how I am, and I’m trying to do better.
Things seemed to have grown more muddled since I posted that (now private) blog entry. It’s almost the midpoint of the year, and I spent the first half grappling with these issues. I need to arrive at a decision and be firm with it soon; otherwise, I won’t have anything to show for it in the second half of the year, and I hate wasting time and energy on hand-wringing and angst.
Maybe this is a side-effect of my weaning myself off coffee. Hmm.