Would I ever quit writing? That’s effectively the question today.
This is my Insecure Writers Support Group post, in which we share our successes and failures as writers, our insecurities, in fact. Anyone can join in, just sign up at the IWSG Sign-up page, write a blog post on the first Wednesday of the month, and go back to that sign up page to link with everyone else–or a goodly sample. Our host is Alex J Cavanaugh, and his co-hosts for the month are:
Mary Aalgaard http://playoffthepage.com/
Ronel Janse van Vuuren http://www.ronelthemythmaker.com/blog/
Cathrina Constantine http://cathrinaconstantine.blogspot.com
J Lenni Dorner https://jlennidorner.blogspot.com/
and ME! What a terrific set of co-hosts I’m with!
What would make me quit writing?
I’ve had the odd month or two recently when I’ve not written anything much… not in the way of fictions or non-fiction. I’ve generally written blog posts, and maybe something else like a shopping list. And some of my blog posts have required creativity and I’ve added a haiku.
But I think we’re talking about more creative writing than haiku (which I like and find non-taxing).
I think there are two possibilities: not enough time, and disillusionment
Not enough time
There are several things I have stopped doing although I’d like to do them, put they no longer fit into my lifestyle; or not with in the time available. Art, or painting, is one. The only artwork I did while I was in Norfolk were my Princelings illustrations. They improved with time, as do most creative activities. But I’ve joined the local art society, and I expect to do some painting again, not just playing about with the Sketches app on my iPad.
If that pushes out my writing creativity, well, it could happen. Although it would have to become a higher priority. I can’t see it taking over for the time being.
Although time devoted to marketing my books could take time from both writing and painting!
I think the only thing that’s likely to stop me writing anything worth reading by other people, would be complete disillusionment with the whole process. That could be coupled with depression, and the feeling that I’m useless, it’s all a waste of time, and all that comes with the Insecure Writer baggage.
I mean, even if I stop trying to write books, I’ll probably still be blogging.
As an adjunct to the writing question–would I ever quit reading? I can’t imagine not reading, but I am seriously dis-enamoured of the books on my shelf at present.
I have discovered I am completely off thrillers, especially psychological thrillers, and even more so with protagonists suffering from mental health issues.
How much do I need this pain in my life right now? We’ve had enough to cope with over the past couple of years, and the world is pretty mad out there, so why read about it for ‘pleasure’?
|Recently abandoned books||Why…|
|The Making of Mrs Petrakis||Dire family life, rape, abortion, plus random jumping about the timeline|
|The Perfect Life||Controlling partner, unstable protag, depression, property search, fantasy life, tension|
|Jurassic Jail||Blurb promises much of the above|
|Taylor’s Ark||Epidemic, plus really clunky writing|
It is possible that the glut of psychologically twisted protags in new releases (and books released in the last three or four years) is forced on us by the trad publishing industry, because that’s what was selling before the pandemic. And on their schedules and reaction time, they probably have at least two more years of stuffing it in our faces.
Well, I’m not reading it. I’m looking for something lighter, something more uplifting, something relaxing.
Indie authors could jump into that slot very quickly, if I’m not the only one feeling this way (and I suspect I’m not).
Responses to global stress
I wondered whether I was imagining this, but I thought of societal reaction to World War 1 : the light and fluffy 1920s dance era. Jazz, right up to the Great Depression… which produced noir. In the Second World War, the films were either uplifting (None But The Brave, The Cruel Sea) about heroic combatants (and those left at home, like Mrs Miniver), or they were light and gentle (Disney classics, Wizard of Oz). Even Gone with the Wind and the musicals of the time are either heroic or cosy, or a mixture.
So I suspect the taste for the pre-covid ‘nasty’ series will change. I hope so. Or maybe it’s just me.
Maybe there’s nothing better than a good zombie apocalypse dystopia to get you over a pandemic with two mad leaders (and I’m not counting N Korea there).
Don’t forget to get busy with your Sweet Romance entry for this year’s IWSG Anthology call.
I don’t write romance. But I’m beginning to think it might be just what I need to sharpen up my brain.
Weird and Weirder is out tomorrow
The fourth in my series of flash fiction collections comes out tomorrow 8th July. There won’t be another until it’s time for a winter collection!
and check out my entries in the Smashwords Summer/Winter sale, throughout July.