I sat down on Saturday with just a vague idea for a short story, and I finished it yesterday--which is record time for me lately.
Once I wrote more quickly. In the mid 90's, I met a friend for lunch once a week at either her house or mine. We had a great lunch and read each other's stories that we wrote. She took summers off, and I had a schedule where I didn't go to school until later afternoon on Tuesdays and Thursdays. In those leisurely days, I could write a story a week on a regular basis.
These days, it can take me months to finish a story. Even if I have it plotted out in my mind, I often have only 15-30 minutes here and there to work on it.
I found it exhilarating to write a story more quickly--there was that thrill of discovery. I thought I was writing about an angry poet, but maybe that poet, who made an appearance in a story told in the voice of the HR director, was someone else.
I'm writing a collection of short stories that are linked by the fact that all the characters work at a for-profit art school in South Florida and by the fact that they all have some connection, no matter how tenuous, to activism. I originally envisioned it as an activists at age 50 collection. I originally thought the link to the characters was their activism when they were in undergraduate school together--that idea quickly fell away.
I'll be interested to see if the stories feel repetitive when they're together in one manuscript. But I'm not worrying about that now.
I'm just happy to keep writing, no matter what the process may be.
What I Did On My Summer Vacation
2 months ago