Sunday, December 09, 2007

Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome

After manipulating my schedule into a set of complex knots, I found that I had enough time to pass by the book launch for Dean Alfar's third Philippine Speculative Fiction Anthology this afternoon. It's not that I'm one of the lucky twenty-one authors who managed to get their stories included in the volume, mind you... it's more the fact that I read quite a few of the people who managed to make it: Dominique, for example. And Charles. And the Cat himself.

Despite what Dean might say, I turned in a less-than-stellar work this year. I try to be detailed whenever I review other writers' works because I think that their good and the bad elements are subject to readers' personal opinions. Whenever I review my own work, however, it's completely from a writer's point of view, and it usually ends up being a pure distinction between "good" and "bad". My mind works in such a way that each and every plot gets one chance, and if I don't get it right the first time, then I'm not likely to try it again.

Just before the event began, someone -- Charles, I think -- pointed out that I didn't seem to be writing as often as before. I mentioned that this was probably due to my regular job, which keeps me in the office for about twelve hours per day and keeps me worrying about work affairs for a good chunk of my time. There are other factors, of course -- life complications, personal relationships, the fact that my other siblings now have their own blogs and have begun to hog the computer -- but it all adds up to the fact that I'm finding less and less time to plot.

I mean, I obviously still write; otherwise you wouldn't be seeing the usual ten posts per month on this blog. But in order to write some good fiction, I need some time to find inspiration and outline a progression of events. The fact that I usually write and rewrite an average of five or six attempts for each story does not help.

You see that? If you're an unpublished author looking to break into speculative fiction, then now's a good chance -- you've got one less bit of the competition to worry about. Just don't look for your window to stay open for too long.

I realize that I really have to start writing fiction at a regular pace again. The fact that I'm not exercising my craft is a subtle warning, to be honest -- it implies that I'm finding it more difficult to see the fantastic possibilities in life. It implies that I'm often taking things as they appear to be. It implies that I'm not using my imagination at all.

In short, I might be on my way to becoming a rock: Slate-gray in color, shot through with veins of quartz, and generally of a very stoic disposition. And as pretty as I might look in somebody's shoebox, I'd rather not be one right now.

So will this blog expect more fiction from me in the future? I suppose so... it'll depend on how well the story ideas come around. Should I expect to walk around a few more times and try to see the world as it looks beneath a clear purple sky? I suppose so, too.

Will the next few anthologies expect some submissions from me? Definitely, yes. I'd hate to suddenly disappear from the scene after putting only one or two stories in the local pubs for people to talk about...

7 comments:

Charo Nuguid said...

When you have the funds, you should get yourself an Asus eee. I just tried it last night and it's absolutely perfect for writers! That said, buy a cheap router for the home so you could at least use the eee whilst your siblings hog the desktop. :)

Sean said...

Charo: Sadly, I'm a stingy man.

I could go back to good old-fashioned pen and paper, though. But then again, my handwriting would give editors some serious fits.

Vin said...

HI Sean! It was nice to see you again. I'm glad you decided to attend the launch.

Anyway, I never got the chance to thank you for your review of "Wail of the Sun" a while back. I always appreciate criticism and feedback for my stories. So, thanks again for taking some time to let me know what you thought of my story.

I've been following your work as well and I do hope that you get back to writing fiction again.
Pen and paper is good for writing first drafts- at least you are able to write even if others are using your desktop. :)

Dominique said...

Aww, you'll get your second wind, Sean. Let's aim for publication in the other rags this coming 2008.

Maybe you should consider joining Litcritter sessions. It helps to have writing buddies, too.

Sean said...

Vin: Hi, Vin. It was nice to see you at the launch -- I haven't run into you for a long time.

I think I've turned into a child of the modern age, to be honest. It's become increasingly difficult for me to write with pen and paper. Nowadays I really prefer a word processor, if only because it helps me get my thoughts down quickly before they fly off into the night.

Dominique: I did consider sitting in, but my weekends turned out to be busy, too. Regardless of that, I might show up one day... we never know, really.

christie said...

It was nice to finally meet you, Sean. Keep on writing!

And I totally agree with Dom's suggestions: Join the Litcrit sessions, and get a writing buddy. Both get you think about stories All.The.Time.

Happy Holidays!

-elyss

Sean said...

Elyss: It was nice to meet you too. :)

I think about stories all the time, mind you. They just happen to go so well with the other thoughts about work, life, love, food, work, sleep, exercise, games, work, and mild disorderly conduct. :/