All month I’ve noticed a lack of inspiration and a decline in the quality of my writing. I’m still fulfilling my promise to myself to write a short story each week, but I’ve been unimpressed with the results. At first, I thought that it was me, that I was failure as a writer, that I should give up—you know, the standard monologue.
Fortunately—or unfortunately, I can’t decide which—the fault doesn’t completely lie with me. After talking with my doctor, I learned that a medication I started recently can actually hinder “creativity.” I’m hoping this is a temporary side effect, as the other side effects from the drug have already faded away.
But I’m not here to whine. Rather I want to share my progress this month:
The biggest is, of course, my submission to an anthology. I’ve submitted to publications/magazines/etc. in the past, but never anything that could show up in an actual book! The story is entitled “The Uytoroi,” and it will make you think twice before you go out on a beach at low tide. I want to thank my mother, Jim Thomsen, and Tim King for their insightful edits. While acceptance/rejection could go either way, the act of submitting is enough to make me feel accomplished.
I’ve written five other stories—none of which excited me as much as “The Uytoroi.” I’ve explored some new genres (including my first true attempt at extreme horror), as well as experimented with new techniques. Still, the lack of inspiration (or whatever it is) has diminished the quality of my work.
Some of my readers may have noticed that I’ve flirted with three different novels since I started these Writing Updates. But here I am with a new project. The act of editing/rewriting my old novels has lost its appeal. And while struggling with the last one, I came up with a great idea for a new book. Things are going slowly given my weakened inspiration. Still, I make a little progress each day, feeling an enthusiasm that isn’t blunted by my lack of creativity.
I’m currently working on the outline. Right now, it’s a vast jigsaw puzzle with many pieces missing, but with each idea, I get a better look at what I’m creating. Unlike my other work these past couple months, it is not horror per se. Classifying it, I guess I would consider it “weird fiction.” I’ll be sure to update you on my progress and elaborate on the story in the months to come.
WHAT I’M READING: Dean Koontz was never on my list of authors to read. But every time I go to the horror section of a bookstore, a third of the books there are by him. So why not give him a shot? I picked up a copy of Watchers, his breakthrough novel. It reads like so many other NYT Bestselling thrillers and I found myself engrossed (they use that formula for a reason). Still, I didn’t expect to learn so many things from it. It’s been an educational experience observing how he forms plots and develops characters, and my Untitled Novel is flourishing because of it.
I realize these writing updates aren’t the most thrilling content, but they help me encapsulate my progress and so I write them more for myself than any other reason. I will continue to post more essays and articles (this has not been a good month for writing them) in the future to hopefully diversify the content here.