The Absence of Satisfaction

Last week, I finished a short story that’s been a year in the making—I think. I changed the names of characters. Outlined and outlined some more. Went through numerous false starts. After all that, I finished this story. Normally, this wouldn’t be a big deal. I mean, I finished a story. That’s great. I should be thinking about the next one, right? Only, I feel like there should be more. 

I went to Twitter and the Ten Minute Novelists page on Facebook about this and everyone offers the same encouraging statement: “At least you wrote it. Congratulations!” And yes, that should be comforting, but I don’t feel that way. 

Two reasons. One, it took me this long to write a short story. I read different articles that say writers should be able to write a short story in one sitting. Regardless if it takes a few minutes or a few hours. Unfortunately, I’ve never been one of those writers. One problem is that I write and edit at the same time, which is detrimental to the process. The other is that I have daily obligations to meet. So getting to a laptop is not that simple. 

And two, the story lasted five pages. This was the frustrating thing about this story. I thought this particular story would last longer, given the time I took to prepare it. I wrote out certain scenes in my phone. I had them looked over with a fellow writer. I incorporated the advice. I wrote it out. When I finished, I pulled up the stats window. And after all was said and done, over 1600 words and five pages worth of story. 

Again, this should be no big deal. But I remembered writing stories that took twice as long. Maybe it’s because I felt a strong connection to it. There are some personal ties. So I am a little disappointed.

I should look on the bright side, though. One, it’s done. Two, I exercised some personal trauma. Three, I sent my story to the same reader that looked at the snippets and I got some good advice on making the story better. So, there will be a second draft, and I can get more of these feelings out.

I know this is more of a rant than anything, but I felt I need to expunge my emotions on this story. Maybe it’s the universe telling me I have more to work through. If that’s the case, I’m going back in. 

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Author: G. R. McNeese

I'm originally from Illinois, currently residing in Georgia. I graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. I am blessed with a supportive wife and family.

4 thoughts on “The Absence of Satisfaction”

  1. I’m not an experienced or even published writer but I think in life in general it applies: don’t compare yourself to others. Be true to your own process, your own heart. There’s no standard procedures in writing, so don’t worry if you write differently. You write different stories. You are a different person. It’s OK! Seriously, you HAVE finished it. Whatever it took, it’s done. That’s awesome! Congratulations!! 🎉

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Over the years I’ve read a lot of writing advice, and I think one of the most detrimental types of “advice” out there is this sort of one-size-fits-all, there-is-only-one-way advice. Every writer is different. Every story is different. It sounds like this story was emotionally taxing to write, and maybe, for that reason, you needed to spread the writing of it out over the course of a year for your own sanity. That’s okay.

    Some people will say that you have to write X number of words a day to be a real writer. But there are “real” writers, people with multiple books under their belts who are making a living at this, who write less than what those people say. Go at your own pace. Forget that one-size-fits-all nonsense. As long as you’re writing, that’s all that matters.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hello, thank you for sharing your fears but alas they aren’t soley your property, we all have or have had simular ones especially in the begining.
    If my advice is anything worth having then take it and run with it… here goes.
    If first draft you try being a pantzer ( writing as if your pen/keyboard is connected th your brain) strictly no reading back or editing. Let your emotions and thoughts spill unattended onto the page. Once you have written the end then let it sit like a great wine for as long as you can. When you go back to it you will see it with fresh eyes. This is what I had to learn to do, learn how to let the flow take you. Sometimes revising can grow it tenfold, other times it gets tighter, sharper, and becomes flas fiction. 😇 I hope this helped you as it did me. And you are now a writer of short stories for that you should be proud.

    Like

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