Creativity / writing

Forecast Friday: Focusing on the Future

No, this isn’t some distant future speculation for life and the universe – this is just Bill thinking of where he is now at the midpoint of 2018, and what he needs to do next.

It looks like I’m on schedule to wrap up the latest revision of Swordsmaster this weekend. I’m taking notes on what needs to be addressed and how to structure my revision and rewriting activities when I return to Swordsmaster in the fall. I’m kicking myself for how I allowed incompatible influences  to sloppy-up Swordsmaster; I’ll have to be really focused when I restart.

Next week I’ll be working on that rare, ALMOST REQUESTED (meaning they volunteered to look at it again, but there is no guarantee of a sale) rewrite of “Interview with the Blue Neon God.” The main thing I need to do is give it a little more conflict (that thing that probably also helps create that HOOK that seems to elude me.) Wish me luck…

I used to think of myself as a quick study, and prided myself on being able to hit the ground running no matter what I put my hand to. But everything in life (why am I specifying life – EVERYTHING) has tradeoffs – strengths can have weaknesses. I am a talented but unfocused dilettante; things come to me so easily that I don’t often need to work hard at a topic to be adequate to the task. But maybe ADEQUATE isn’t really enough anymore. I’m rethinking my creative approach, specifically the notion that THE STORY COMES OUT AS IT WAS INTENDED, and my stubborn refusal to change what’s on paper (perhaps a TOO RIGID adherence to HEINLEIN’S RULES, but more likely because I’M JUST STUBBORN.) This old dog needs to learn some new tricks.

Why am I contemplating change? Maybe I’m thinking this way because of how I’ve had to adapt to the layers and layers of rewriting and revising that are obviously (even to me) needed to make a novel work. Maybe it’s my dearth of sales. Maybe it’s the comments of the editor for whom I’m rewriting “Interview with the Blue Neon God.” I’m happy with my writing STYLE and VOICE, and that has gotten me close to a sale a number of times, but I need that something more.

I exist in a bubble, with ALMOST NO FEEDBACK (although I’m not sure that’s the whole problem – sometimes I have to be beat over the head with advice.) I may revisit some of the writing books to see what suggestions stick this time (that tends to happen in phases.)

This means I may slow down my approach to my short fiction while I try new (to me) methods and techniques. This may cause me difficulty in making my 10-story quota for this year, but I shouldn’t shackle myself to my goals – sometimes we need to improvise.

You grow or you die. Just saying…


As a side note, in responding to Christian Mihai’s blog posting on “9 Mistakes That Will Screw Up Your Blog”,  I reflected on how inconsistent I’ve been on Fridays. I already have Mondays for Meandering, but potential readers and followers would probably appreciate it (and be more numerous) if they knew what to expect from Friday, instead of the random theme it has been. I shall need to remedy that (hey – these things take time. Just saying…)


CollectionTheLast3CoverWilliam Mangieri’s writing – including his most recent collection The Last Three ‘Things I Could Get Out of My Mind’  – can be found in many places, including:
• Smashwords:
• His Amazon Author page:
• Barnes & Noble:
• Createspace (if you prefer physical books):
• His site on WordPress:
• “William Mangieri’s Writing Page” on Facebook at:
• His Goodreads author page:
• Or on twitter: @WilliaMangieri

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