Weekend Coffee Share: Recovery Mode

Good afternoon,

I’m happy to see you. It’s a little dreary outside, but I’m glad you’re here. Help yourself to some lemonade as well as some K-cups. Once you’re done, have a seat. 

First of all, I apologize for my absence yesterday. I had a full, “exciting,” day. It all started yesterday morning, after I dropped off Colleen, the kids, and my sister-in-law at the gym. I drove to Duluth to get my haircut before going to a cookout at my mom’s house. After making a quick deposit, I got hit by a driver running a red light. I was lucky no one else was in my car and that the other driver was okay. As it stands now, I’m using my mom’s SUV until I get a rental. 

After that craziness, I picked up my family and went back to Duluth for the cookout, which doubled as a graduation party. The invite said it started at 1, but no one really showed up until around 3. We had a plan of staying for a few hours, then head home. We stayed the whole evening. We had a great time with family and a few friends of the family. So, we’re still a little beat from the party. We’re in our pajamas still. 

As far as writing goes, I’m recovery from a “period” of questioning my worth. I started writing in my journaling app on my phone, but not about my writing. I wrote about some of the personal stuff going on in my life. Mostly about my jobs and family. By the end of the week, I made a difficult decision. I decided to abandon my plans for writing my barbershop series. 

Just a quick recap, I wrote a post declaring my intentions to write a short story series on my blog. I wrote one story and shared it with a couple of writing friends. Because they enjoyed it, I thought it would be interesting enough to write a series of stories. For over a month, I outlined possible plots, brainstormed different “customers,” and so on. But nothing was clicking. And the more I thought about it, the more I came to realize that the series wasn’t going to work. The biggest issue is the stories themselves. They’re more like vignettes than stories with conflict. It just won’t work.

So for those expecting the series to get off the ground, I’m sorry to disappoint you. I wanted the series to go well, too. I went in with the intention that this would be my opportunity to really showcase my writing prowess; something I’ve wanted to do since I started this blog. But after this latest debacle, I’m thinking serials aren’t the way to go for me. Lesson learned. 

Anyway, that’s all for this week.

Let me know how you’re week has gone in the comments. I don’t want the conversation to be one-sided. 

Until next time, take care…

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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.

6 thoughts on “Weekend Coffee Share: Recovery Mode”

  1. I believe that at some point all that planning will melt down into another project…not a barbershop, but a collection of characters..don’t despair. Thanks for the coffee.

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  2. I agree with Pamela above: that work you’ve put forth into your barbershop series (I accidentally wrote “barbership” there, and had flashes of a series of relationship stories rotating around the barbershop) will pay off. There is nothing wrong with vignettes, either! Vignettes picture characters in a setting and paint how they react to situations and other people. They may not have the meatier external or internal conflict necessary to fulfill short story parameters, but they do move you and your characters forward. It’s important to know where their voices come from, when you put them into a grander milieu, and writing those vignettes will give you a firmer grasp on that ahead of time. That’s worthwhile.

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      1. The main character doesn’t necessarily have to tell the stories. Maybe they can be a fly-on-the-wall observer. Each story/vignette could have its own protagonist, while the main character simply acts as the common element through them all.

        There’s a Japanese TV show called Shinya Shokudo that reminds me of this idea. Netflix has a companion series available (“Midnight Diner: Tokyo Stories”) on their streaming service, if you’re interested. I’m sure there are others.

        Your stories don’t need to fit a particular mold to find an audience.

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  3. Even if you just devote 15 minutes a day on the barbershop characters as a way of sharpening your writing skills, you aren’t wasting any writing time. Of course, if there are other characters or stories in your head that are more interesting then you should work with them instead.

    Anytime you find that you’re dragging yourself to the page to work–barbershop series or otherwise–that’s actually damaging. Always work on things that motivate and inspire you because that will come out in your writing.

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  4. I am just getting back into motivated writing after questioning my skills too. The road back is a long one but if I am diligent, I do believe I will make it. From what I have read, many writers go through this periodically. Do not give up on yourself.

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