January 20, 2017

A post in which I answer the question, “Garen, are you doing any writing lately?”

I’m always super grateful when people ask me how my writing is going. And that’s not just a hollow platitude. I seriously do appreciate it. Here’s why:

  1. It’s nice to know people care, that they remember I’m a writer.
  2. It gives me motivation to actually have something to tell people when they ask

But for the last four months I haven’t had anything good to say when friends and family asked about my writing. I’ve been on hiatus. No blog posts, no flash fiction, no magazine articles, no novels. Nothing. To tell you the truth I was feeling a little burned out and discouraged. Here’s why:

  1. The magazine that I had been consistently submitting articles to for the last several years closed up shop without notice, and I didn’t have the energy to muster the time and resources it takes to query other editors.
  2. I was rejected for several grants and short story contests. I was anticipating the no-thank-yous but it’s hard to soldier on when they come all at once.
  3. Sales for On the Verge have come to a standstill and then I found out that it didn’t make it past the quarter-finals of Publishers Weekly’s BookLife Prize in Fiction. (But that still put it in the top 72 books out of more than 750 entries so my spirits weren’t totally crushed). If you want to see the other books still in the running for the prize, which will be awarded shortly, you can click here.
  4. The end-of-the-year holiday bonanza sucked up any remaining time and creativity from my already depleted brain.
  5. I have a toddler that is wonderful and beautiful, but also a complete dynamo with the kind of disposition that will serve her well when she’s the CEO of a Fortune 500 company, but is…challenging…when you’re attempting to parent her in the here-and-now.

Lately, though, I’ve been getting that itch again. Words are bubbling and brewing and they are about to spill over. I’ve got to get stuff on the page. Hence this blog post. The first since, gulp, September 9 of last year. And there’s also this story floating around in my mind. It’s not quite solid yet but it’s getting easier to see.

I think it’s time to write another novel.

And because I work well with deadlines, I’d like to have a solid outline for it complete by the end of this month, a first for me in the writing world (I usually eschew the whole outline thing, but I learned my lesson last time around).

So please, keep asking me how my writing is going. Now I’m going to have an answer for you and you can help hold me accountable. Thanks in advance.

Wish me luck!

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