Met my good friend and much more talented writer Lee Thomas for coffee yesterday.Â In between all the snark andÂ coffee imbibing that goes down at our meetings, we got to talking about writing (makes sense, right?).Â More specifically, we got to talking about my writing and ways I can improve.
See, I’m constantly looking to get better at what I do.Â I’m always writing and always reading, and as my tastes in writers changes, so does the benchmark I want to reach with my writing.Â In the last two years, my world has been rocked by such writers as Sarah Langan, Laird Barron, Paul Tremblay, Ken Bruen, and Charlie Huston.Â They represent a level of prose that most days feels like a pipe dream to this schlub.
So, Lee pointed out some helpful things I could do, and things started making a bit more sense.Â See, I’ve been writing nonstop for several years.Â A lot of it isn’t published, and there’s a reason for that.Â I’d love for it all to see the light of day, but it’ll take some work.
That’s where the problem enters the mix.Â I’ve been so concerned with my output, my craft hasn’t had time to progress.Â I’ve been churning out words without really working on my own abilities.
So what’s a guy to do?
Well, if you check out my bio at the bottom of this story, you’ll notice I’ve got a pretty good year coming up.Â With a collection, a novella, and a novel all due to hit shelves by year’s end, I can afford to spend some time working on my craft.Â So until the end of May, I’ll be concentrating on creative writing exercises.Â I won’t be writing stories, but will instead focus on my voice and mechanics.Â I’ll be working to expand my abilities.Â I’m even looking into creative writing classes in the area, because every little bit of practice helps.Â When June rolls around, I’ll begin working on that old stuff, banging it into shape.
Taking a pause for the cause, because sometimes that’s what you need.