Today I hung a new hammock chair, something that took more time than I anticipated. That was only one of things tackled today. We also spent some time (and money) in the hardware store. Tools to work on cleaning the floor to resurface it, electrical supplies to replace outlets, and a new LED ceiling light. In addition to hanging the chair, I replaced one of the outlets. There’s more work to do around the place than I have time (or money) to do right now. I just keep chipping away at it.
You can think of your writing as a house built over time. In the beginning, it might be a house crudely built of sticks, the barest sketch of a house with moss for the roof. Bit by bit you figure out ways to improve and expand upon the house as you learn better construction techniques and gain access to better materials.
Writing is also like building a house when you consider that you’re creating property. Dean Wesley Smith makes this point in his recent post about a question.
And people will pay me a lot of money over the rest of my life and beyond for those forty hours of playing.
At a thousand words or so per hour, in around 40 hours of writing (while on vacation in Las Vegas) Dean wrote a complete novel. He created a new property and now it will continue paying, as he says, in the years ahead, even after Dean is gone.
In a typical work week, you only get paid once for the work done. I’m fortunate in working in a career that I enjoy. Library work is satisfying and makes a difference in the community. It is created by the community for the benefit of the community.
I’m often surprised by writers talking about the tortures of writing, the struggles, and the difficulty. Dean addresses this myth of modern writers. I find myself in agreement with him. Spending time telling stories is fun. I watch my son playing all the time making up stories. I remember doing the same thing as a kid (and continue to do so now). The main difference? Now I write the stories down.
I’m planning to increase my focus on studying short stories. The best way? Reading. I’m planning to spend more time reading short stories. I’ve always enjoyed reading stories. I just plan to spend more time reading short stories each day. I don’t know how much time I’ll have to work on stories given my class schedule (the new semester starts this week), but I plan to sneak in as much time as I can.
I also want to spend some time (as I’m able) analyzing stories. Typing them in and looking closely at how other writers have approached short stories. I want to study a range of short fiction. I’ve done similar things in the past but it is time for a new renewed focus on stories along with my other reboot plans.