Signs of Life: Writing New Fiction


That’s a great way to describe my writing life the last few months.

Here’s what I’ve been working on:

  • Trying to finish a draft of one long-standing writing project that isn’t my own (I’m writing based on a story created by someone else)
  • Reading a ton
  • Critiquing manuscripts (lots of them!!) for friends, clients, and students
  • Dipping my foot into the world of poetry (ack!!!)
  • Editing, revising, and submitting several “old” short stories
  • Teaching two writing classes (Fiction Writing Basics and Legacy Writing) at the local adult/continuing ed center

Of course, labeling it “crazy” is better than calling my creative life “dead” so I’m not going to complain.

As the old saying (or the Geico commercial) goes, I’ve was happier than a witch in a broom factory when I broke through the log-jam and wrote a new story this week.

One thing you’ll notice has been missing: Writing NEW fiction of my own. It won’t come as a surprise to know that this lack of new fiction comes with a whole host of emotions: disappointment, angst, and fear. There is always, lurking in the back of the writer’s mind, that fear of being “out of ideas” and “washed up before I ever really got going.”

But, I’m happy to report I broke free of that, at least a little, this week. I read a story about a man in Brazil who surprised his family by showing up at his own funeral, and there were too many story possibilities there to pass up. I’ve also been reading a collection of short stories by the Brazilian writer, Nelson Rodrigues, which was recommended to me by a dear literary friend, and something about that mixture “clicked.” Despite my long lay-off from generating new fiction, I couldn’t let that story go, so as I was substitute teaching (the kids were taking a Math test, so things were nice and quiet) I began to write a scenario that might just fit such an odd circumstance.

I was, as the Geico commercial says, “Happier than a witch in a broom factory.”

Is the story any good? It’s too early to tell, but there are some interesting bits that surfaced in the first draft. And, it feels good to shake off the rust and dive back into a fictional world full of characters I don’t know.

These moments, where the story bubbles forth and we can be a part of something new…these are the moments writers live for!

I hope you’ve found something new to spark your creativity. Have a wonderful weekend, dear reader. And, Happy Writing!!

Photo Credit:Vectorportal via photopin cc


2 thoughts on “Signs of Life: Writing New Fiction

  1. Eric, I have been feeling the same. I usually have 1.5 hrs to write in a given day. I have been slogging through edits and it’s been akin to eating McDonald’s for every meal for a week then running a marathon.
    Okay, maybe that is a bit dramatic but when I write something new and get swept up in the story it’s the best feeling a writer can have. People who don’t write think of all of the glamor and the money. Sometimes writing is grey skies. Glad you’ve seen the dawn.

    • One of the things I hear from fledgling writers, in both fiction and Legacy classes, is “writing is hard work!” I’m sure most people who know a writer or two realize most of us don’t labor under the burdens of riches or fame, but they also don’t realize that it doesn’t come easy.
      There are many rewards that are without tangible value, though, and for some of us, the work is the THING.
      Thanks for the kind words and for being a regular reader, Bob.

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