Getting bogged down in the muck is an artist’s nightmare. You’ve done the initial work. Maybe you painted the paintings, recorded the songs, or wrote the novels, and then you have to take the creation and offer it to world. Just when you thought you were done. There’s a million more hurdles.
When I wrote short stories I had these tiny trophies of publication to remind myself to keep going. I’d have the excitement of getting published and then the hardcopy would come in and then I’d be excited again. Then I’d get to tell family and friends. So each short story publication offered multiple rewards which would give me the fuel to keep myself in the grind.
Don’t get me wrong. I love to write. The space is a meditative space which is not matched by any substance on the planet. I can truly leave this planet when I sit down to write. The rest of the harsh world disappears. I’m left with my thoughts and my imagination; both aimed at solving the world’s problems. It’s powerful.
But I would be lying if I didn’t admit to days when I wished I was writing short stories again. I’m revising my novel, Uncle Called Him Spider, and writing a novel is a much longer journey. A marathon. It’s been two years. Two years of running. It’s been longer since I had a short story published. I’m feeling such a void maybe I’ll pull out one of my old short stories; one I hadn’t published, and I’ll send it in to a journal. You would think we artists can survive with no attention at all, because for so long we survive without any light. But for those of us still seeking a space to call our own, some consistent stream of give and take with an audience, we must stay viable by any means. And sometimes those are tiny trophies alongside the road.
(Works cited: the above image was borrowed from Wikimedia Commons)