I suspect that I may be writing too much in the way of Antaria, and too little in the way of general fiction.
It's not healthy to stay in one universe. I suppose that moving around talking to the characters and experiencing the locales makes for a very nice exercise in world-building, but there's a fine line between developing as a writer and getting stuck in a realm of your own creation.
It's "Fan Fiction Syndrome", if you think about it. Too many writers of fan fiction find themselves enamored of a certain setting, and thus spend their entire literary lives scratching out mediocre works that happen to be based on it. They neither find the inclination nor the effort to move on, and therefore never harness the true potential of their creativity.
While Antaria is an original creation (as opposed to a work created by some distant author), it may pose a similar danger. It is, admittedly, one of the crunchiest settings I've ever conceived (and I've gone through a few), but the last thing I want it to do is to prevent me from writing other pieces of fiction.
As of this post, I've written no less than thirty-one pieces relating to Antaria's story or setting for this blog, yet I've featured only two short stories ("Untitled", "Body Parts") that stand on their own. That's a huge gap.
On the other hand, the reasons for such a discrepancy may be attributed to any number of things. There's the possibility of copyright, for example: Maybe I am writing enough stories, for instance, except that I just don't put them up on this blog because of copyright worries. (In contrast, I don't hold similar concerns for Antaria because any plagiarists will have to copy a massive number of works.)
There's also the fact that a lot of writing contests have cropped up over the last year. No contributing writer is likely to place his submissions online, after all, especially when the better works are selected for publication and the worse ones are best left unread.
And then there's the nature of Antaria. It's clearly not meant to be a short story, for one -- it's a fully-realized setting with characters and places and tense political situations. Its tale is at least series-length, now that I think about it. And you really need to immerse yourself in the universe to understand what's going on.
That's probably why I only expect to come out with an Antaria post around once a month. Writing more often than that would entail a partially serious commitment (or at least an indication that I have nothing better to do), and writing less often than that would risk my losing the story completely. I'm looking at an undesirable situation either way.
It's a fine line, all right. If it were any finer, you'd string it around your knuckles and wrap it around somebody's throat.
So now there's the question of what I plan to do.
Ironically, there doesn't seem to be much that I have at the moment. If I'm inclined to write something about Antaria, then I might as well sit down and write something about Antaria. If some majestic plot for an independent short story comes to mind, then I can write that instead. There doesn't seem to be a whole lot of choices involved in an effort that depends so much on inspiration, after all.
I suppose that, while I'm languishing in this train of thought, there's only one thing that I can do: Write. The topic shouldn't matter, really.
All I ask for is this: If I seem to be leaning one way or the other, do let me know. It's probably the only way I can learn to right myself in a sea of uncertainties.
And if that somehow helps improve the pace at which I write -- Antaria or otherwise -- then I'm all for it.