Mondays are great days to look again at what I'm doing with my writing life and why I'm doing it. Even with this busy semester of teaching, I try, each day, to get to my computer and put words to the page. It might be a few hundred words for a blog post, or it might be a measly couple of paragraphs for a future book idea, but I'm afraid if I don't write ANYTHING, then I'll walk away and never return. (It is, after all, A LOT easier to do so many other things, a list of which I could gather, but won't.)
What I've figured out in the last few days is that my best writing can fall into a couple of groups: I write novels (that eventually I hope to get somewhere), blog posts, essays, and creative nonfiction. And these forms of writing are things I can actually do somewhat well (according to feedback from alpha and beta readers). But for so long, I've tried my hardest to fit into the category of short story writer, all because someone told me the way to a novel contract is through short stories. And it's taken me this long (four years and counting) to realize that the short story is not the form for me.
It's also taken me this long to realize that you can't believe everything everyone tells you and that writers do not always succeed in every form. I KNEW that fact--but in my quest to become a better writer, I think that I thought I should try to tackle it all and be good at it all.
Of course, as I found out early on in my mothering career, I can't do everything and I can't do everything well. I'm not exactly why I thought it would be any different with respect to writing.
So for this week, I'm going to concentrate on one piece, attack it with vigor, and make it shine. I'm going to let go of the thought that I need to write short fiction, and I'm going to make my novel sing. That's the plan, and I'm sticking to it.
What's your plan?