FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 6 — DRAINED Jason S. Ridler
You no longer sleep well. Your commute is a third-to-half-a-work-day. You put in long hours. You have responsibilities that matter more than anything else in your life. And illness and depression have returned to make everything harder.
There are two projects you are planning for the year. You’ve paid each one little attention.
What do you do?
The younger version of yourself would lose more sleep, friends, and happiness to reach the goal.
But he did not see the accidents on the highway, people who are also sleep deprived and doing their best. They don’t have a real relationship to come home to, a life to build beyond art.
You know how to sacrifice and get shit done. Checked that box for twenty years. And yet the dark slivers in your mind think that it all washes away once there’s a new project.
This is your process.
And it is dumb.
So you admit your mind is a wonderful friend and idiot at the same time. You sit down and plug away in fits and starts as you feel your way into the new project. Each one big. Each one will challenge what you can do. Each one is a book only you could write.
And then you give yourself some slack. Past is prologue. You’ve written close to twenty books. It will happen. It always does. To think a break will break you is the mythology of America, which would rather you work yourself to death in all directions.
Stop. Rest. Repeat. And take solace in the fact that the great Neal Barrett, Jr., gave you when you started, almost twenty years ago, words of agency and freedom where others saw hardship and suffering:
The only one who can make you write is you.
The only one who can make you stop writing is you.
Now go watch wrestling, heal up, and dream of what magic you will create next. Then you can breathe–and release the monsters within.
Become a 2022 Super Subscriber!
If you’re a fan of our bold, brief, and beautiful fiction, we hope you’ll consider purchasing a 2022 SUPER SUBSCRIPTION. You’ll get the satisfaction of knowing that you’re helping to publish amazing stories by talented writers… plus you’ll receive the following benefits (details listed below)
- 12 monthly issues (+ a vote in our first FFO Reader Awards!)
- bonus content from our authors
- live events on our Discord server
- one FFO annual anthology
- your choice of one ebook from an author or staff member
- entry to our $100 gift card giveaway
Support Flash Fiction Online
Flash Fiction Online is a free online magazine that pays professional rates. So how do we make that happen? It’s due to the generosity of readers like you.
Here are some ways you can help:
Sign up to become a monthly donor. Read more…
Subscribe to FFO.
Never miss an issue! E-reader formats delivered to your inbox. Available from WeightlessBooks.com
Buy our issues & anthologies.
Consider a one-time gift that fits your budget.
Advertise with us.
Have a product, service, or website our readers might enjoy? Ad space available on the website and in our e-reader issues. Sponsored posts opportunities are also available. Learn more…
Spread the word.
Love one of our stories or articles? Share it with a friend!