It’s time I came clean.
A lot of people have been taking advantage of the COVID-forced downtime, since April, to get some writing done. A lot of writers and others, therefore, have been posing the regular question: Writers, what are you writing? And so far, my answer to anyone posing the question to me was: “Nothing. I’m just not writing.”
Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Most people are perfectly accepting of this answer; after all, the realities of job losses, income losses, social isolation and limited public outlets have left many people without the mood or incentive to write. In my case, two decades of failed novel marketing left me out of the mood to write, and I hadn’t done any new writing since my last novel. And everyone was fine with that answer.
Except that… it wasn’t actually true.
Yes, I’ve been writing. A few months back, I came up with a science fiction premise that I really liked, very original and filled with promise. And since I wasn’t doing anything else (besides sending out multiple resumes a week and watching my phone not ring), I decided to pass the time by developing the premise. And then I developed a story concept for it. And then I started writing individual stories (chapters, basically) that started to tell the story. Presently I have 8 chapters written, and I still see promise in it.
But so you know, I don’t plan to do anything with it. It’s a premise, but not something I expect anyone else to be interested in enough to buy. It’s not filled with alien monsters, space battles, evil robots or plucky rebels on an impossible mission to save the galaxy. This premise is about exploration and discovery… which, let’s face it, isn’t something I can sell to today’s star wars-superhero-obsessed SF market.
So… I’m keeping it. I’m using it just to give my head a place to go. Something to keep my mind-worms fed. There are no plans to publish it, or release it, or even give anyone details about it. It’s something for me to do when I’m alone and it’s quiet. It’s mine.
I’m going to be starting a new full-time job in a few weeks. I’m hoping that job will give me an occasional reason to exercise my writing skills in the service of my organization. It isn’t why I’m being hired, but it might provide a fringe benefit and something I might enjoy doing.
But writing science fiction? No, I’m not. Though I am. But not really. Just so you know. You know?