I am not a prolific writer.
I look at people like Genevieve Valentine and Ken Liu, who have stories everywhere, all the time, and I’m just in awe. Or Matthew Sanborn Smith, who is working his way up to one thousand stories. I wonder how they do it. Matt has done this while raising two teenagers on his own and working full time; Ken has a young daughter, coauthors software with his wife, and works a day job that would leave most of us gibbering on the floor at the end of the day; Genevieve accomplishes so much even while working, writing a novel, and consuming hours of media to review on her blog.
Sometimes I wonder if I’m just fundamentally wired differently than they are; other times I wonder if I’m just fundamentally lazy. I’m leaning toward the latter.
I’d like to change that this year. I’m not sure if this counts as a last-minute resolution, but maybe.
Creating new habits is hard. Limbering up the brain is hard. What’s the best way to do it? I want to focus on the novels this year, but I also want to write more short stories. Stop being so lazy. Get something done. Should I commit to spending half an hour a day on short stories before I work on the novel? Should I commit to a specific series or theme, to limit the paralysis that comes with having the entire universe, real and imagined, to write about?
Artist Galen Dara did a project a few months ago in which she asked her writer friends for characters to illustrate. She did one every day. What’s the writerly equivalent of that? It occurs to me that John Remy’s use of tarot cards as prompts might be a good way to start.
Have you faced this problem of lack of proliferation, and if so, did you find a good way to solve it?