I talk so often about writing, and improving writing, and motivating one's self to write, and blah blah blah, that I forget to take a minute to really reconnect with why I write. Why it's important to me to write.
Lately, for some unknown reason -- and one that I am not about to question -- I have been writing consistently, constantly, and (quite honestly) pretty damn well. Since February, I have done a complete edit of my 30-thousand-word novella and written the following pieces:
"You Could Be Happy" -- 3600 words; contemporary
(Untitled) -- 4100 words; near-future
I've also done a complete revision on "Westward Expansion" and "The Pod Village of San-Zhr" (which I was sad to receive a rejection for in the Library of Fantasy & Science Fiction "Liminality" anthology, until I realized that I don't think it's science fiction). So those will get a second round very soon.
I've also done a fair amount of work on a project I've been writing since last November with a writing partner. It's a Steampunk work that focuses on letters written between the two main characters from my short story "Westward Expansion." It's going quite well, and we're really delving into the nitty-gritty of the plot. I like it.
I also have about 11 pages written on a new, but slightly revised version of an old piece, story that is very plot-driven, which was a change for me. As well, I recently started an idea that started about 10 years ago after reading Stephen King's Gunslinger, which formulated, sputtered into life briefly, and then died. Now, though, nearly finished with The Drawing of the Three, the second book in the Dark Tower series, the idea came back to me.
Two things: 1) the stories are almost entirely unrelated, but the world in King's books bring to mind the sort of world I originally wanted to create for that first piece and just couldn't really find the story behind it. Now I think I have. 2) I think I've been influenced, if only slightly, by the very visceral writing of King's that sort of allows things to happen as they ought to. What does that mean? Well, in my case, I've written two stories (the previously-mentioned, "You Could Be Happy" and this new project) that have very blatant and necessary sex in them.
Previously, I felt that sex was something that didn't really fit in my work because it wasn't relevant to the piece. Some people have said otherwise in regards to a few stories; and I think I will have to go back and reexamine those works because of the new turn I've taken. Partly, too, though, I felt like sex was a bit of a "reader-grabber" simply for the fact that it was put in to get readers to say to their friends, "Oh my God, I just read this great book with awesome sex scenes in it." I never wanted that (and I still don't), but I recognize the place it has in other stories, and I recognize the place it has in these stories.
And that's what's important. Everything is relevant. Everything is given meaning by the act of writing it. And that is why I write. I feel like lately, with all of the things that are going on in my life, have gone on in the past year, and continue to inspire me, I am forced to make sense of things and give them meaning in the hopes that I can find some answers.
Although I think maybe I should just buy some chocolates and take my girlfriend out to dinner more often, so I can take care of the latent implications of writing sex into my stories.