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Storyslinger No. 9.23
News: September 2023
This is a monthly newsletter. On this first Tuesday of every month I publish this newsletter discussing what’s been going on and what’s to come.
So, somehow in the months since I took a break (for no reason, and not on purpose) I failed to notice that my subscriber base continued to grow. When I looked at the number today—600!—my first thought was, “How much work must it have been for my mother to create hundreds of fake email accounts just to fake-boost my readership?”
Actually, jokes aside, that’s definitely not what I thought. What I thought was, “I need to start writing again.”
I’ve been collecting so many thought-things for the past [checks calendar] five months. And I actually have written. A lot. Some essays and some short stories and some parts of WIPs and the first draft of my first romance story (which I plan to serialize here on Substack). So, I haven’t been not busy. But I’ve also been busy with life.
A thing that cuts me down internally (as I’m sure it does every single writer) is just not doing the work. As someone who has successfully completed and published books, it makes me tears-welling-up sad-frustrated to wake up and realize that I haven’t sat down to work during my “Writing” hours (still stubbornly popping up on my Google Calendar each morning) in weeks and then months.
It’s the regular sitting-with-the-writing that actually ever gets anything done. And we writers (and probably every artist and who are we kidding probably all people?) are masters of procrastinating. I can easily find 738 things to do right this moment rather than sit at my keyboard and plug away.
But it’s time. Let this serve as a promise of my continued effort. I mean, if people are going to keep showing up (at this point, doubling my readership since I launched a year ago) then I better show the fuck up too.
Where do I begin? I’ve been working on a lot of things and at the same time I’ve done what feels like almost nothing. I wrote a 32,000-word draft of my military romance story (the first in a series set in fictional Fort Magruder, Georgia). I finished the rough outline and about a 70% draft of the sequel to Advisor, called Unlucky and starring our favorite Space Force Recondo, Rave Dekko. And like I said above, I’ve written a bunch of essays and short fiction stuff, which I’ll be publishing here.
I just haven’t put any of it out in the world yet. But I will. I am.
Maybe I haven’t been working at the business of writing because I’m lazy (I definitely am). But maybe also because I’m struggling with who I am and who I want to become? I think this is probably a life-long struggle for those of us who introspect. We’re never too old to become better (or worser, I guess). And I’m learning to overcome habits and traits that don’t serve me anymore (if they ever did). I’ve got an essay I’ll be publishing soon about what a liar I became through my experiences growing up. (Surprise, surprise, I turned out to be a writer of fiction after all!) And I also penned a piece about my struggles with alcohol and cigarettes, and how that struggle isn’t over even though I’ve been alcohol- and smoke-free more than four years now.
Life is a lot, for anyone. If you’re lucky (like I am), you end up with a partner who loves you for who you are at your core and isn’t too fussy about the dried husks of the different shells you’ve worn over the years hanging off your body and clogging up the emotional drainpipes in the relationship. And she forgives you when you fail and supports you and just loves you no matter what. That’s definitely something. And if you’re really lucky (the jury’s still out on this end), and you work hard at it, you end up with a core that’s worth loving. And that’s something too.
There are (as usual) a lot of things just over the horizon. Look for my military romance project early next year. And a surprise project releasing next month. And a whole lot of little sprinkles of fiction and non-fiction in between.
Thanks for sticking around for this journey we’re on. You are the reason I’m here.
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