I have a definite creativity cycle. About spring I stop writing and don't truly get back into a creative flow until August. It used to drive me crazy - okay, it still does - but at least I don't panic now when months go by and I've written nothing. By the end of July, I do get a little testy though.
From September to January I worked on a novel and didn't write any short stories. In February I wrote a short story that I promised an editor months ago, but other than that I only have the Hot Cops anthology that's due out in May. So I'm looking at this gaping whole in my output and getting a bit nervous. Should I go against my normal pattern and try to write? I'd like to work on some short stories before I plunge back into the huge time suck of a novel, but I have two novels - okay, three - in my head and not a single short story. I tempted to hold off on writing until I can come up with a decent short, but if I'm in the mode where I can write, and I have a novel ready to go, why not write it?
You can see that this is one of those internal debates where I already know the answer, but I don't like it, so I waste time quibbling over non-issues to avoid what's going to happen anyway.
While I play mind games with myself, I'm not sitting around doing nothing. Dear friend, writer, kinkster and fellow porn movie aficionado DL King is creating a website for reviews of literary erotica, so I've been reading and writing reviews that will be exclusive to her site ( you won't see them on this blog, but I will post links when the site is up). I've been networking like mad with writers and editors for all my projects that are coming up. Mindful of how much I owe to the wonderful community of writers at the Erotica Readers and Writer's Association, I've been working on line by line critiques of stories on the Story Time list - which probably strikes fear in the heart of new writers as they see the volume of notes I send them, but I always say that being edited by Marcy Scheiner was the best writing class I ever took, and I try to pass on that personal level of in-depth help to writers with promise. (I'll never forget looking at the edited version of my first sold story, the pages absolutely dripping with red ink, and thinking, "And she liked this? My god. What does she do to a story she hates?" I allowed myself ten Diva melt-down minutes and then decided to learn from it. Looking back, I should have paid her . She changed the way I tell stories - and all for the better.)
These are not simply excuses to avoid working on another novel, but they do help. *sigh* I guess I'm fated. It's going to be another novel. Hmmm. Do I write the next in the series of my sand-humping beach reads, or do I tackle the only-slightly-more-serious near-future speculative fiction (that's science fiction to all you non-geeks)? Wow - figuring this out could take me weeks - but only if I ration out my excuses carefully.