Last month I wrote and finished a short story. While I liked the story, I set it aside, intending to go back to it later for reevaluation. I thought I could make it better.
Maybe I can.
This week I finished an essay for this site. Had it ready to post today. Only to pull it the night before.
I liked it. Just think it can be better.
Maybe it can.
There is a problem with not letting go. With not sending what you got out out of a misguided sense that it’s not good enough. Or, in these cases, that they could be “better.”
There is also a problem with sending things out before their time. With thinking “This is good enough.” Or “This is fine.”
Holding back in some cases, hopefully in these cases, allows the passion and fire to cool, to let me approach what I’ve written with fresh eyes. Maybe I can do better. Maybe I can just hit send and move on to the next project.
As all of this is going on, I’m working on notes for more stories that I’ll ever have time to write. I’m being productive. I’m moving closer to writing something.
And yet there is an ever present fear I’m just spinning my wheels.
Maybe I am.
Last month I wrote and finished a short story. The first one in a long, long time.
This week, I wrote a blog post. Sat down and wrote it beginning, middle, and end.
If I am spinning my wheels, at least something is in gear. That doesn’t feel too bad.
Hopefully the blog post will pop up next week. It just needs one more pass through. Maybe dig up a picture or two.
It’s to encourage me to write. To make time in my “busy schedule” to write.
There are two problems with this.
Problem number one is that I don’t always think of something to write about. It happens.
I also sometimes think “This would be a good post” while at work, then when I come home wonder what I was thinking. Or the key to what I want to write is gone. Or I no longer have enough time to work on the project.
On the one hand you can’t force something into being. On the other hand, that’s just an excuse not to write.
Instead of doing what I was thinking of, I could write something I hadn’t. Do a stream of conscious thing. Let the words flow. The important thing is that I’m writing, and that the writing flows more or less logically from one point to the next.
That’s what this post is an attempt at doing. Super effective so far.
Problem number two really isn’t a problem. I actually am writing. I’m working on novel notes. Character work, world work, story work. Stuff I should have done years ago. Stuff I’ve been fiddling with for the past two years.
This, however, does nothing for the blog. And I am now paying good money for this blog.
Same holds true for the review site. For over a year I’ve been paying for it, and not once have I posted a review.
Put that aside for now.
All of this is a long winded way of saying I need to do something about it A bit of writing that interests me that I can post on site that I don’t force myself to do. Yet I actually force myself to do. If you can dig it.
An idea I’ve been toying with is doing a sort of review of The New Annotated H. P. Lovecraft. Not of the collection, though, but the stories therein, starting with Dagon. They might not be long reviews. They might not be thoughtful. I might even skip some or all of the other tales. But I’ve had some thoughts rereading Old Providence, and maybe that would be worth fiddling with.
Connected to this thought (seriously, there is a link) I’ve been mulling over talking about a revelation I’ve had dealing with The Cask of Amontillado. Over the years this has become one of my favorite of Poe’s works, and I have a thing or two to say about it. Maybe not the most original of things. A fact that has stopped no writer from blathering before.
I have also figured out just why Godzilla keeps coming to shore at Japan. And there’s my little Anime Theory of Godzilla that simply must be aired.
I could, of course, mention the worst short story I’ve ever written. Seriously, knowing it’s existence is such a weight off my chest. Everything after it has been so much better because of it. The only problem here is that to do it justice (ha!) I have to reread it. A task I’m not certain I’m up to.
Oh dear God, is it bad.
As I’m restarting the site, I could revamp or rework some old school series. The Hell… ?! comes to mind on that, though I’ve not hit too many bizarre situations that warrant that title.
Well, except for the plagiarist who, in the process of apologizing for her theft, plagiarized an essay about plagiarism from I believe a magazine dealing with plagiarism. Something that is… Well it’s kinda… The Hell… ?!
And so on and so forth. The ideas are there. And next week I hope to do one of them.
Of course, I could again rattle on as I’m doing now. To be honest this stream of thought experiment hasn’t been a bad thing, all things considered. It just has to be on a subject that isn’t what I might be writing about.
That leaves potential things I might draw as fair game. Or not.
Anyways, see you next Friday. Or sooner. Or later. Whenever I plant myself here and write.
This site has always had two main problems. Well, it’s really one main problem as it all connects back to me. Call it two symptoms, if you will.
The first is that it doesn’t update regularly. I did wonders at the start, but at the start I was a jobless wastrel with plenty of time on my hands. These days I have a draining job and frantically working on finishing even one of my novels before I die of old age.
(Over twelve potential protagonists. Some with series story lines. With more coming every day it seems. Where was this wellspring in my youth?)
The point is I plan to post every Friday. Doesn’t mean it’s going to happen. But I’m trying to do better.
The second problem of the original run was that I’d start series and never finish them. Just ran out of things to say, stopped, planned to go back, never did.
This is more of an issue than the first. As guys like G. R. R. Martin might tell you.
This I don’t want to see happen now that I’ve started over. But when the well runs dry, when I don’t know how to proceed, there’s a problem.
Hence no updates.
Problems been solved. The series is finished (should have been finished before I started, but that’s something for another day)
The next two updates we continue on this strange little excursion. Then we’ll see what we shall see.
Seventeen years and one free blog service ago I started out one of my longest running and (relatively) most successful projects. A blog site.
It was meant to improve my writing. I started it out with a few whimsical words, which I reprint here:
I have literally no idea what I’m going to say here. What do I need a blog for, anyway? What can I offer that millions can’t?
The only possible use I can think of for this thing is improving my writing, and I have NO intention of publishing fiction here. Essays maybe? The occasional review? Pretentiousness all the time, every time!
Maybe this will go with all the other blogs, started then discarded, forgotten amidst the wasteland that is the Internet.
Whatever. Who cares.
Here’s to hoping that something fun develops.
Any one out there?
Thankfully in the seventeen years I’ve been doing this, I’ve improved. I credit the work on this site in that regard, and hope to continue forward.
However, seventeen years is a long time. A lot of… not quality work has be built up. And I’d like to have a place that showcases me at, if not my best, then near to.
Thus I “dumped” over seventeen years of my life, and as of today I’m starting fresh!
I put “dumped” in quotes for two reasons:
I didn’t want to lose the good stuff that I did do, so I marked it all as draft, intending to go through and separate the chaff from the straw. Over two thousand entries. Moved in bulk. Using two different windows. But still. Yikes.
I didn’t want to lose seventeen years of my life, so I backed everything up on a new site called Welltun Cares Archives. You want the warts and all Cullen M. M. Waters, there it is. Right now the site’s kind of rough. I may or may not get back to it.
My intent going forwards is at least once a week post something, new or reclaimed. 500+ words. Fiction, essay, commentary on my art, what have you. No movie reviews, as I have a site for that.
There’s going to be better categories, better tags, and, with a little luck, better writing. ‘Cause even if I’m the best (I’m not) I can always be better.
So, as I said seventeen years ago, here’s to hoping that something fun develops.