The arrival of spring combined with the arrival of a less-than-sunny attitude toward writing has really slowed down the flow of my creative juices for the past couple of months. I started two books, felt the sluggishness set it, waffled between both projects, then set them aside. Many things about the GLBTQ* writing community have recently (and rather seriously) stanched my enthusiasm for it. So I've been disengaging myself from the whole author thing.
Last night I lay awake, thinking about my two stalled WIPs and how I need to get one of them going. I can't publish a story every two to four weeks like some writers in the genre -- a feat that profoundly boggles my mind -- but I should be able to manage something every three to six months. My position on this overcrowded playing field is tenuous enough. I need to keep my name out there. I need to produce, and to the best of my ability.
That final clause threw my thoughts onto another track. Does it even pay to write well? Maybe I should follow the lead of some of my peers and strive for quantity, compose a few tearjerkers or sex romps or chuckle fests every couple of months. There'd be nothing wrong with that. Readers seem to enjoy the output of speed writers as much as or more than that of poky writers. My books thus far haven't exactly blown people away, so I wouldn't have anything to lose.
I've seen this in the m/m romance genre too. It's a compelling argument, I realized, for altering my mindset.
After my thoughts took a few more turns (and by then it was 2:00 a.m.), a title for one of my WIPs popped into my mind. Remember that story with the polka band? I decided to call it Xylophone. Unfortunately, along with the title came a premise that's heavy rather than light. So much for altering my mindset. After hours of tossing from side to side and considering how to jump-start my productivity, I landed back at the same place: facing a project which, like Merman, is going to take a while to complete, strain my brain in the process, and yield the same unspectacular results in terms of reception.
Damn, I hate the way my imagination works. I so wish I could just say FUCK NO to most of my ideas, devise a works-every-time formula, and keep capitalizing on it!