Weekend Coffee Share: Questioning My Writing

Good afternoon,

Welcome to the house. Glad you can make it. I have plenty of San Francisco Bay K-cups. So help yourself. My wife likes this brand a lot. I also have almond coffee creamer. Kind of a nice alternative. So let me know what you want. I’ll wait. 

… …

Okay. Let’s talk. 

I don’t have too much to share about this week. We’ve been counting down the days until Zoe finishes kindergarten. We’re so proud of her. In the meantime, we’re making plans on what to do over the summer.

I wanted to talk about my writing. Rather, my writing woes. I’m in a slump. I’m not writing as much as I had in the past few months. I haven’t written in my journal as much. I don’t have any ideas for my next story. And I lost interest in finding a contest/magazine to submit my barbershop story. It’s just been a flat month thus far. I can count it up to being burnt out. But that’s not much of an excuse, even though it happens. I’m not “inspired” to write these days.

But the more frustrating thing about writing is that I wonder if social media is right for me. The writers and hashtag games I follow on Twitter. The Facebook groups I joined. The multitude of writing prompts I collect on the Internet. I feel like they focus on writing novels in the sci-fi/fantasy genre for young adults. Don’t misunderstand. They’re wonderful genres. And that’s the trend these days. I’m just wondering if there’s room for the kind of fiction I write: short stories in Mainstream Fiction. 

I expressed my grievances on Twitter and Facebook. About me not writing as much and about the lack of support for my genre and format. I even tweeted a call to find short story writers. I received random statements of encouragement from both platforms. Someone asked on Twitter why I put the call out for short story writers. I just know they’re out there. And I understand that short stories are a hard sell. Even the anthologies, as good as they are, don’t translate to best sellers. I feel chided and shunned, but I can’t be the only one that feels that way.

But regardless, this is the path I’ve chosen. This is what I believe my calling is. And I love the short story format. So make fun of me all you want. I don’t care. 

Sorry for the ranting. That’s what I’ve thought about this week. Maybe next week, I’ll have more to talk about.

What about you? How was your week? Anything exciting planned? Let me know in the comments. 

Until next time, take care.


8 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Questioning My Writing

  1. I know there are a lot of people who write short stories here on WP, and in a wide variety of genre, but I think most do at as a sideline from something else. It is a very hard sell. There are very few authors that I know about that do only short stories. Most of the short story anthologies I have picked up have been by authors best known for their novels. But there are some out there. Good luck!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Hey G.R. I know you from the FB writing group. I’m sorry to hear you’re having a hard time with your writing. I’ve always been struck by how many writers on social media say they do writing prompts and NaNo (I recall you opted out of that one last year) and contests and–well, the list seems endless to me. I work on a book, one book at a time, and the occasional short story when moved. I am always looking for extra moments to research markets for my writing. Because, like you, I am a person with family, other work, a garden, the need to exercise, even finding the time for shopping my finished books/stories is hard.

    All this to say, I think you should devote your time to writing solely what you love, and then try finding a home for those stories/novels. Yes, YA fantasy seems to be the only thing at the moment if you look at the Internet/agent interviews, but I know a lot of readers and none of them reads YA fantasy, so there are other markets, other tastes. I went to the Climate March in DC a few weeks ago. My seat partner on the bus was a woman who has published a book of short stories. No novels. Just short stories. She said it was hard to find an agent (she found one for the book), and that getting the short story collection published was a bit of a fluke from some conference connection. Now she has a second collection, and she has to find another agent willing to spend time on short stories.

    For me, it’s the problem of being a “brand.” I write across more than one genre. I write what is interesting/important enough for me to commit to living with the many drafts a well-crafted book requires. All this means that you and I, and the many writers who are not doing YA fantasy or Gone Girl, will have to look harder, dig deeper. But I hope you will always trust yourself and write exactly what makes you love writing. The late South African anti-apartheid activist, Steve Biko, published a book of his writings in 1978 called “I Write What I Like.” I have adopted that wonderful phrase as my motto. Hope you will too.


  3. I suggest picking up a copy of a Pushcart Prize compilation from your library. Lots of literary fiction, it will give you and idea of what sells, and show you the markets. There’s actually a wider range of journals and publications for literary fiction than SFF, you might just be in the “wrong” chats.


  4. I like to try my hand at writing challenges (on a different blog) but lately I haven’t had much time and when I do I just can’t seem to get a story started – nothing seems to flow. Here’s to you finding your Writing Muse and all. Congrats regarding your daughter graduating kinder – that is awesome. Hope you have a great week.


  5. I struggle to find time to write at all so I can’t give much advice. But write what you love whatever that may be. I hope your slump subsides soon. Congrats to your daughter for finishing kindergarten!


  6. I have encountered the same the same trend, not only within the social media sites but the writing blogs too. True, sci-fi, fantasy, and YA are big sellers but they are not the only writings out on the market, yet here, on the internet, among its writing community, they seem to be assuming that is all there is. Our only recourse may be to go out in the real world to find a like passion.


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