Books By C. LItka

Books By C. LItka

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Plan B

My Plan A of writing – writing two or three stories concurrently, skipping between them when I ran out of ideas for the one I was working on, has run off the rails. The reason being that even with three stories in the works, I can not seem to find any enthusiasm for any of them – much less a complete and/or compelling plot. I simply don’t feel like writing them. (Ah, ma, let me sleep. I’ll find a job tomorrow.) So it’s on to Plan B (“Screw it”).

I think there are two types of work; work-work and play-work. Work-work is the thing you have to be paid to do and the thing you have to do to pay the bills. Play-work is the stuff you enjoy doing, even if it involves hard work, say, like gardening or building furniture – things that some people have to get paid to do. Now, if I was a traditionally published author contracted to deliver a new book next year, or a “indie publisher” who, having been dropped on his head as a child, was actually trying to make a career as an indie-publisher and needed to get another book out to pay the bills, I believe I could do get that book out. I have story ideas – though no detailed plots – for three books that, with work (work-work), I could probably eek out 100,000 words with a plot of sorts out by next summer. But I’m neither a traditionally published author or a starry-eyed indie-publisher, I’m proudly an amateur writer who writes and publishes simply for the joy of it. Of course, this also involves work, but it is of the play-work variety. I’m not prepared to make writing a work-work type of work. I had a taste of that writing The Lost Star’s Sea. Getting the story to its end, came pretty darn close to being work-work, but having started it, I needed to push on and finish it. Having had this taste of work-work writing, I’ve no desire to force myself to start off writing a story, that doesn’t engage me, and so will be work-work to get through just to meet … well what really? My expectations? I’ve written and published nearly 800,000 words – the equivalent of eight full novels, or 16 of the common indie-published “novels,” so I I feel that I’ve to prove to myself. I dreamed of writing science-fiction stories and now I have. Do I need to do more? No. Would I like to do more? Yes, but only if it was fun to do. As for reader expectations, well, I’m always happy when readers are entertained by the stories I’ve dreamed up, and would certainly like to keep entertaining readers with more stories – but only with stories that entertain me as well, stories that I enjoy dreaming up and writing – play-work. It’s always been about me. I write stories that please me, everyone else is just along for the ride, so that stories that do not excite me, stories that seem to be just work-work are simply not going to be written. And with no contract to fill or dollars to make, I can maintain this standard. I’m not going to work just produce a so-so, or so-familiar story. It may be that I’ve told all the stories I have to tell. There are limits to both my talents and creativity, and a 67+ years old I may well be bouncing up against them. At this particular time point in my life, I seem to up against them in both my writing and painting. We’ll see if we can push beyond them. Or not.

So, long story short, I’m just going to take some time off from writing stories until – out of the blue – I feel like I have a really fun one to tell again. Can’t say when that will be. However, since I still like playing with words, and have a two hour slot in the morning to fill, I’m planning on spending it writing blog posts like this one. I can think of all sorts of things to write about my writing, including my early unpublished stories and comics, and indie-publishing in general, so I expect I’ll not run out of things to write about any time too soon. So that’s Plan B – blog posts & essays while I wait for creative lightning to strike.

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