Writing is a strange game. Over the last few months, I have gone weeks without writing anything satisfactory, only to find myself disgorging entire stories in the space of a morning. Months of the year have passed without fiction submissions, followed by days in which two or three stories have been accepted at once. Inconsistency abounds, and yet I don’t think this will ever change. I can’t speak for everyone, of course, but for me I feel there will always be doubt; doubt about myself and my writing. A part of me also thinks this might not be such a bad thing. Doubt is uncomfortable, it can be crippling if not managed, and create anxiety, but I increasingly feel that it is an integral part of the creative process. The day that we stop doubting ourselves – in any aspect of our lives – is the day that we stop questioning ourselves, stop challenging ourselves and stop growing. There will always be doubt, and the people who feed it, but as long as we are happy with our work and have imparted more than a little of ourselves into it, I think that is enough.
I spoke of intermittent acceptances. Thirteen O’ Clock Press, an imprint of Horrified Press, have accepted several of my stories over the course of the year, and it has been a genuine pleasure to see my writing find a home there. Most recently, two of my stories (‘The Faceless Brides’ and ‘Route UB1’) have appeared in their anthology CHANGES. My copy is en route as I type. I am also eagerly awaiting the release of Almond Press’ annual anthology, BROKEN WORLDS. I was honoured to place first in their Short Story Competition this year with my piece, ‘The Sad Man’. I hope at least a handful of readers find it an affecting read.
Finally, I have been working hard on edits of not one but two manuscripts this year. One has been accepted for publication, the second is under consideration. Both are dark and, I hope, soulful reads, offering other glimpses of the world around us. Like LYNNWOOD before them, there is strangeness and pain and more than a little poetic prose, bearing the horror to the reader…
If you have made it this far, I would like to thank you for sticking by me and supporting my writing. If anything eases doubt, even momentarily, it is the genuine support of others. Keep reading,