One step forward, two steps back

Old cover for Grizzle & Bone
Old cover for Grizzle & Bone under nom de plume Gerhi Feuren
Between 2012 and 2015 I published eight short stories through Amazon Kindle and some of the same eight through other channels (under the name Gerhi Feuren). I sold a handful directly and a mere four copies through Amazon. Clearly not a roaring success. But nevertheless a good process and learning experience.

But I have now unpublished all of my short stories, which may seem as if I am going backwards. Maybe I am but only time will tell. Maybe I will republish them here as free stories. I have not made that decision yet.

Have I given up on writing? No, I haven’t. On the contrary, I am now as committed as ever to keep writing. I am very close to finishing the draft of a novel. Very, very close but I don’t want to say more than that. But I do want to say that my focus is on writing the novel. That novel specifically and then the novel as a particular form.

When I have more information available I will post it here. But for the moment I am hunkering down to finish the first novel. Then other things may be said, or not.

Slow Writing: Day 1

I have been dithering on the edge of a commitment for years. Today I decided to jump. Tonight I am jumping.

slow writerSome people who might know me might also know that in 2008 I made a commitment to write full-time for a living. That did not work out as planned because currently I am teaching full-time. But that leaves me with enough time to still pursue writing.

What I have learned in the last seven or eight years about writing is that what really makes the difference is starting on it, and never stopping. Unfortunately I am good at stopping, and then trying something different.

Part of that commitment thing I mentioned at the top. But tonight I am making that commitment. Publicly, given that my blog readership is limited and my public are only a couple of people who read my stuff on social media. But that is enough for now.

So this is the commitment, in two parts:

  1. To write a piece of fiction every day, writing for at least ten minutes, and
  2. to blog and record my writing progress at the end of every day.

My intention in doing this is to take at least one of my creative interests and turn it into something sustainable. Writing is the most portable, needs the least preparation and requires the least amount of time and material to produce result. All it needs is consistent progress. Tonight I commit to that.

I don’t know what I will write. I will let every piece evolve into what it needs to be though I suspect most of the early attempts will be short stories. I also don’t expect every one to be successful. I expect a number of duds and false starts. Those will be chalked up to experience and I will move on.

The same way I am moving on from the stories I wrote in the beginning of the holiday. The first got finished (I will post it right after this post). The second one got bogged down. I now realise it was a non-starter.

My intention would be to publish these scribblings. But during term time I’m only committing to writing every day. I will leave the publication effort for the next holiday.

What gets finished then will get posted here on this blog as free to read, if short enough and finished. Once I publish it and put it up for sale I’ll pull the free version.

I am supposed to filter short stories into the short story publishing market but I won’t be doing that yet. I don’t have much confidence in the quality of my writing at the moment. But my experience with any creative effort is that huge progress is made when the focus is first placed on quantity.

Which leaves me with just one last point. What is it going to help writing for only ten minutes? First, that is just a minimum. I reserve the right to keep at it for twelve hours if I am so inclined. But I am setting the bar low so that I have a better chance of ensuring success.

And second, I have already written my minimum of ten minutes tonight. My win is 289 words. Which is not bad for just ten minutes.

Fiction Writing Stats:

  • Words today: 289
  • Total for the month: 289