Writing Update – May 2021

In last month’s update, I mentioned being stuck on my WIP’s outline. I was hoping this month I could announce that my inspiration had returned. Alas, that is not the case. The problem was not so much my concentration as it was a not-fully-thought-out premise. It seems I took the egg out of the incubator too soon.

So while I wait for the story to come together in my head, I’ve embarked on two different writing projects.

52 Stories

In the last six months, I’ve “written” almost nothing. I’ve edited, I’ve outlined, I’ve journaled, but I haven’t sat down and typed out prose. My writing gets sloppy if I’m not constantly practicing it. So I devised a plan—or rather I stole an idea from Ray Bradbury. Every week for the next fifty-two weeks, I’m writing a piece of flash fiction. So far, I’ve completed four. It’s my dream to have a collection by the end.

Those who know me know that I am not a fan of short fiction—or at least I wasn’t. But I’m having oodles of fun with these small vignettes and I can see my sloppy writing tighten with each one.


Back in 2015, I wrote a rough draft of a novel entitled Palindrome, yet for some reason I never edited it. It’s sat on my computer all these years, until the other day when I came across it.

I’ve never written anything like it, my first and only genuine attempt at literary fiction. While surreal in places, I wouldn’t classify it as bizarro. At 92,000 words, it’s my longest manuscript.

Palindrome is the story of art, mental illness, and the beauty of destruction, and the only novel I’ve written where my main character is not based on me, yet it’s one of my most personal works.

In much of my writing, the plot is front and center, but with Palindrome I focus on the characters. I believe that it’s my richest portrayal of human beings. Still, it needs a lot of work.

In order to get ideas, I need to be distracted with something else first. Hopefully, these two projects do the trick. I have a bad habit of starting and not finishing. But even though I’ve shelved it for now, I’m still excited as ever about my WIP. Who knows? With these three projects going on, I might emerge in the end with three books to submit.

WHAT I’M READING: Since I’m writing so much short fiction these days, it only makes sense to read a lot of it as well. At the moment, I’m reading Hank Kirton’s flash fiction collection Everything Dissolves. He is a master of giving so much in so few words. I highly recommend checking it out!

WHAT I’M WATCHING: I’m a sucker for biopics on creative folks and as such I’m obsessed with the Netflix limited series Halston. Ewan MacGregor plays the self-obsessed fashion designer. I find Ryan Murphy’s shows to be hit or miss, but this is one of my favorites.

Like I mentioned last month, I’m trying to post more on this blog. A couple weeks ago, I wrote a piece about my first novel. You can find that here.

See you soon!


2 thoughts on “Writing Update – May 2021

  1. Pingback: Writing Update – June 2021 | Zé Burns | Blog

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