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Creative Itches


It’s been quite a while since I did any fiction writing, and I got struck with the urge this past week.

I may have said it before, but writing editorials every day is a lot harder than adding the same volume to a novel on a daily basis. In fact, when I participate in National Novel Writing Month, the daily quota is 1666 words. The average length of a post on this blog is a bit over 1000 words. When I’m working on a novel, the words come a lot more readily–I can often crank out 2000 or more words in a single sitting when I’m doing fiction.

They also scratch completely different itches. Working on this blog has largely supplanted my desire to argue on forums and social media. It’s also, in my opinion, more productive, useful, and interesting. Arguing online often leads to frustration–you’re confronted with people who are either behaving in bad faith (read: trolling) or who refuse to listen to a different point-of-view. Here, I can present my argument in full, and people are welcome to read iand respond to it–or not. It’s much less stressful. The stress I get from working on the blog comes more from having to think up topics, research supporting information, and form my arguments. I would say I’ve gotten a lot better at that over the past several months of making posts. I’m also surprised that I don’t struggle very often for topics. That was something I worried about from early on, that I’d get a few weeks in and run out of things to say. I’m happy that that hasn’t happened. I sometimes come up with a topic on very short notice, but I still pull it off!

Fiction writing is just a completely different animal. With a novel, I’m following the same train of thought every day. I’m telling one story, instead of many stories. (This is without getting into the fact that my novels usually are multiple stories in one–it’s still much easier to manage than a new topic every day!) That’s not to say I prefer writing fiction. They satisfy very different needs, and it’s fair to say that my creative writing needs haven’t been addressed for some time now. I’ve rarely had the time or energy to write fiction since I started working on this blog. But this past week, I started working on a new novel, which is funny (at least to me) because I have so many to work on already. I keep a running list of ideas, plus I have a few series I’ve worked on intermittently, as well as some completed drafts that need revising. I’m always doing something. It’s hard to say whether I’ll keep working on this particular novel. Response has been positive so far. I may mention it here from time to time, but this is above all a blog for political and cultural topics, so I don’t want to stray too far from that. Maybe I’ll start another blog for talking about fiction writing. We’ll see.

In any case, I’ve rambled enough. Have a great week! If you’re living in one of the various places facing flooding right now, stay safe out there!