Well, I’m back to putting words on the internet. To the three people who may have noticed an absence, I apologise. To everybody else, I apologise for the opposite reason.
I had stopped posting things here mainly because I didn’t want to write short stories. There a few reasons for that:
A: I didn’t have any short-form fiction ideas about which I was excited.
B: Time spent writing short stories correlates very directly with time not spent trying to write books.
C: I was in a pattern of trying to force concepts to work in fiction of <5000 words, then forcing myself to write those words. This was bizarrely stressful, given the total absence of stakes.
D: The resultant work was mostly awful.
At some point, I must have filed this outlet away as ‘place for short stories and nothing else’. A more accurate pigeon hole would have been labelled ‘place for short stories and basically anything else’. I could do reviews. I could do short essays complaining about things. I could draw a bad picture of a woodlouse, write “woodlouse” underneath it and declare that to be a valid form of content. Short stories are a lot of work, both for me and for anybody with poor enough priorities to be reading them. That unfavourable scenario can be substantially mitigated if I only write them for ideas that I feel enthusiastic about translating into shorts (less work for me) and that are likely to work well within the format (more readable for you). There’s plenty of other things that I could put here, and much more regularly.
Conventional wisdom in the field of putting words on the internet dictates that budding word-putters should pick a niche and stick to it. For those looking for ‘success’, in some quantifiable sense of the word, that is probably good advice. Unfortunately, the most that good advice can really do for you is help you to achieve happiness and stability. Those are fine, but when the road in that direction is paved with boredom and dissatisfaction, then you’re better off either finding a different road or ignoring the advice and just wandering around like an idiot. I’m not sure if the full calculus of that analogy actually works or not, but in any case my preference is for the latter. If you’re an idiot, you may as well commit to it – the alternative is working extremely hard at mediocrity.
A: More and more varied content from now on. The specifics of that are yet to be determined. The process of determination will likely consist entirely of trial and error.
B: Maybe I will actually write some books.
C: Nobody cares, just be honest and do whatever you feel like.
Cii: There are a large number of potential exceptions to that.
That’s all for now.