Today, having just ripped out my fourth sock attempt in as many months, feeling utterly dejected and incapable of following a simple pattern, I am likely prone to dramatic statements of either-or.
I obviously can only knit rectangles!
Staring at eight months of working on a novel and having pretty much nothing to show for it, with one short story publication coming out this year, I obviously can only write short stories.
Here’s the thing: I adore writing short stories. Does that make me lazy as a writer? Does it make me lack the dreaded D word? Am I undisciplined?
Does it matter? Isn’t it about rediscovering the joy and learning what works for me?
I’ve written book length stories. I haven’t written a novel in years, but I have done it. Which means, I know I can. But I prefer writing short- to novella-length works. Why can’t I just do that? Why must I introduce value judgments? Why can’t the value judgment be about the work itself instead of something so meaningless as length?
Yesterday I started on a story that’s to be in the follow-up to The Fairy Queen of Spencer’s Butte and Other Tales, and I’m excited all over again. I’ve got a short story coming out later this year in an anthology. My stuff isn’t crap. I can do this. I can.
Which is frustrating, because I still want to write the books I’ve got in my head. I just want to write these other things more. Some people argue that novels might be easier for me when I don’t have so much vying for my time. There may be something to that. I dunno.
Writing is what matters. Everything else is just details. Who’s with me?