March 15, 2010

Writing Like Crazy: Seasonal Effective Disorder?

You've heard the adage: There's no such thing as writer's block. Well, maybe not, but I'm pretty sure there is such a thing as writer's sludge.

That's what it has felt like through the majority of this winter. Sludge. I have had a heck of a time trying to write anything I felt was any good. I blogged a while back about how "first drafts are allowed to be terrible." Well, most of what I've written has felt like a first draft.

Maybe I'm over-thinking things--a first in any context--or I'm psyching myself out, but getting a finished product I've been satisfied with has been like pulling teeth lately. I'm starting to pull out of it, though. And that has me wondering if there's something to that strange thing I've heard about on the news for years. The mythical "seasonal effective disorder."

I don't know if that's a real thing or just something lazy people made up to keep from shoveling out the driveway after a blizzard. Anyway, the air is getting warmer and things are looking greener--albeit still a very brownish green--and I'm not so down on myself towards the stuff that I'm writing.

I've never paid attention to my quality of writing from season to season. It never occurred to me the climate could effect it. As an aspiring author, I just assume the work is all baby steps towards something better. I'm writing, so that in and of itself is still an achievement for me. How would I be able to tell if the stories I write in the summer are better or worse than what I write during winter? In hindsight, I've never noticed a drag in the quality or speed with which I write. This year, winter has definitely been a disappointing time for me.

Here's hoping that spring brings back more than just the apple blossoms and blackflies.


I found out a while ago that the Dead Bells anthology, of which my story "Burdened by the Break of Day" was accepted, has been delayed due to extenuating circumstances. It's not confirmed yet, but given the anthology deals with a New Year's Eve theme, there is a strong possibility the publication date will be pushed back until this fall. No worries, as I'm confident in Jodi Lee's ability given the reputation she's earned among other writers.

But, if you want to hear a horror story dealing with another editor, there's a blog entry by David McAfee you can read here. Woo-wee, I'm so glad to have not experienced something like that.

It's been seventy-some days since I submitted "An Encroaching Madness" to Dark Moon Books' zombie anthology/contest. I believe accepted stories were to be notified after sixty days, so I'm not liking my chances. Ah well, I'm sure I'll find out its status in due time.

I submitted a short story to Blood Bound Books in hopes of making the cut for their Night Terrors anthology/short story contest. I'll keep my fingers crossed.

Plus, I sent a story out to Pound Lit Press for their Terminal Earth anthology/short story contest. This one had an interesting premise I couldn't resist. End of the world scenarios seem to be becoming in vogue over zombies and vampires. The story I wrote isn't so direct with the dystopia though, so I wonder how it will be met by the editor(s).

Some more stories are in the works now for various anthologies, periodicals, and contests. Stoke those fires, baby.


  1. Terminal Earth is NOT pill hill press. Just an FYI.

  2. You had me double checking what I wrote. I know I pull a Freudian slip between Pill Hill and Pound Lit in my own head, so I'm glad to see I wrote it down correctly the first time.