Lately I’ve been…discontent. it has been tough go put my finger on exactly why because it seems to be everything at once. I’ve already rambled a bit on this topic not long ago so I won’t go into much more detail here for fear of sounding whiny again (we all need to vent now and then but making it a habit isn’t a good idea!)
Recently though I did figure out one thing I can do fo help myself. My writing has been simultaneously a source of great joy and frustration for me. Lately I was having difficulty working on my projects. They just could not hold my interest, and the writing was flat and uninspired. Once I sat down and looked at what I was doing, and realized my writing lacked focus. There are a lot of people who say a writer should have one genre associated with their name. Stephen King does horror. Terry Brooks does fantasy. That’s where they stakes their claims and made there names.
But me? I wanted go write epic fantasy. And horror novels. And novellas. And nonfiction books. My mind was constantly running down different rabbit holes, switching from one thing to another. Is it any surprise that I wound up exhausted and frustrated?
So I decided to go back to my roots as it were. Meaning, I returned to some short stories I wrote for my old horror anthology, intending to rewrite them from the ground up. Something odd happened; the short stories ballooned into full blown novel ideas, but more importantly I was enjoying myself again!
It hit me that focusing my efforts into one area would be my best bet both in terms of my personal enjoyment and from a business perspective when the time comes. There is such a thing of having too many choices. Sometimes a person has to limit themselves. Paradoxically there’s a freedom in limitation, because rather than being at the whim of fancy the person who decides to limit themselves can focus all there energy on the one thing they enjoy.
Long story short, I’m a horror author. Nothing else. The choice to pursue this genre, which chose me more than I chose it, involved foregoing my childhood dream of becoming a big fantasy author. But that’s okay. I tried it, and found while some of the ideas were sound there was a lot about writing straight fantasy that just doesn’t work for me. And that’s all right. Sometimes you have to admit something isn’t working for you, even if it’s something you’ve clung to for a long time. There’s no shame in it; the only shame is in not being honest with yourself and doing something that doesn’t work for you. Life’s too short to waste time chasing after something like that; sometimes you have to figure out what really matters and cut back everything else.