FXXK WRITING: CAUTIONARY TALE 4 – THE BIG EMPTY Jason S. Ridler
There is an emptiness that creeps into you when a major project is completed. Because you define your life by work, accomplishment, and completion. When you’re not working on a novel or a history project or some other creative exploit, when you’re only working the day job, you find yourself questioning your identity.
You call this The Big Empty.
And this is how you fill it: with doubt, self-hatred, redoubled efforts to promote, brainstorming projects, revising old ones, bugging your agent, reading other people’s success stories, gaming a strategy for the future, checking in with friends in similar circumstances.
Some of these are bad. Some good. Others, meh. But you are old enough to know that there is no precious time in your life where only good things thrive. In fact, most of life is riddled in decay and failure as much as success. Everything at all times is a dance of emotional highs and lows. How we react to them, so say the Buddhist, Stoics, and others, is where we have a modicum of control.
You remind yourself of this because the Big Empty is here. And the biggest waste in this space is one word.
Whatever success you’ve had is matched by a negative. Got a book out? The sales suck. Good sales? Where’s the next major deal? Good deal? Shouldn’t you be working on improving your dayjobbery?
There is no good in your life that can fill the Big Empty. Because it is bottomless.
Beside the Big Empty is a laptop and a good chair (though not a great one). On your screen is the infinite horizon called Next.
You create a constellation. Novels. History books. Short stories. Each is a black star against the infinite white.
With the Big Empty at your back, you map what’s next against the infinite to see what fucking shape will emerge.
And the Big Empty starts to shrink.
Become a Patron! Check our our NEW Patron rewards!
Receives weekly links to new stories, exclusive behind-the-scenes content and interviews with the authors, and our undying love.
Receives a free monthly download of our current issue, access to Ask Me Anything chats with the FFO staff, submission statistics, plus benefits from lower levels
Gain access to our monthly Mini-Critique sessions, the FFO Editorial Team slushpile wishlist , plus benefits from lower levels
A chance to have your work discussed by the FFO editorial team, receive 365 Writing Prompts and our latest anthology, plus benefits from lower levels
Receive a monthly mini-critique from the FFO editorial team and request custom writing videos, plus benefits from lower levels
Receive one flash fiction critique per month, mini-critique sessions, an opportunity to “sponsor-a-story,” plus all the benefits of lower levels!
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:
Become a Patron.
Sign up to become a monthly donor and gain access to exclusive Patron rewards like manuscript critiques, insider submission statistics, the Editors’ Wishlist, free downloads of our current issue, and Ask Me Anything chats with the FFO staff. Read more…
Subscribe to FFO.
Never miss an issue! E-reader formats delivered to your inbox. Available from WeightlessBooks.com
Buy our issues & anthologies.
Each of our issues and anthologies are available in convenient e-reader formats (epub/mobi/pdf). Available from the Flash Fiction Online Store and WeightlessBooks.
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!