No paddle or sail, but the horizon’s a beauty

Dispensing with further dramatics that evoke a lack of direction, I’ll just come out and say, I’m not writing. That I’ve been fortunate enough to have written almost everyday for over a decade has made it especially difficult to process not creating for a few months. It comes at a point where I’ve just finished my first short fiction collection, Along the Corpse Road, and have started work on my second, with enough ideas and impetus to carry me through to completion – or so I thought. So why now then, when I’m on a roll? There are a few possible reasons.

Blaming it on the personal stuff that’s been going on is easy, but there’s always that stuff going on, isn’t there? Historically I’ve continued to write through the bad shit, often finding the process cathartic.

When I was working on Corpse Road in 2020, my story submission rate dropped considerably and so far, this year, I’ve submitted just one piece to a magazine. Without this drive there’s a danger to feel even more isolated than usual as a writer.

Social media is always an easy target for a multitude of blame, and there’s good reason. It can eat into your time massively, distract and delay you, and ultimately provide you with and an abundance of opportunities for negativity and self-doubt. I have severely limited my time spent on such platforms, yet still I do not write.

I’ll admit that the current story that I’m supposedly working on has been a right bastard. It has been rewritten several times during which the protagonist has had a few stark reincarnations, the setting swapped back and forth and back again, the plot dissected, stuffed and stitched into something unrecognisable. Never before have I fussed over a story so much and remain dissatisfied. This is could be a chicken/egg scenario, though I have my doubts that the story is the problem.

Whatever the reason(s) for this break in creativity, the truth is that without sitting down every day and writing one word followed by another, then another, forming one nonsensical, or mediocre, or brilliant sentence after another, I will not write at all. Perseverance is key. I could sit back and drift but I miss writing, so I’ll use my head and my hands to ride this sea without sail or paddle. And maybe someone else is in their own boat. Hopefully this will help them, though, I admit, I didn’t write the post with them in mind. That was done for a purely selfish motive of kicking myself up the ass. A dare to get the job done.

So, what next for Nash after this self-reflection? Along the Corpse Road is under consideration. Two of my short fiction pieces are to be published: Wounds are Lips Waiting to be Kissed, will be featured in the upcoming issue of Ghostlight, The Magazine of Terror; The Memory of Hannah Babinski has been accepted for publication by Coffin Bell Journal. And, of course, work on my second collection, Sex, Death and Moonbeams (working title), will begin again today.

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