Returning to the Quagmire


If you follow us on social media, I’m sure you’ve noticed that during the start of 2017 the three of us started sharing posts from our early days, or other websites. Reading my old blog posts is fun and thought provoking, when I’m not wanting to smack myself upside the head. I’m fairly impressed that I only wince once in a while.

Recently, I read and re-shared my post Quagmires: Pros and Cons. At the time, I wasn’t concise, but my post summed up how I feel about being quagmired in one WIP –I was stuck editing a short story at the time. Here’s a list that breaks down both sides of getting stuck in the quagmire:


  • Focusing on one piece sees it to completion sooner;
  • It allows for a strong grasp of setting and character because other people and places don’t distract;
  • It allows for a strong understanding of the story, i.e.: you’re able to pick up where you left off because nothing else started buzzing in your head;
  • Basically, you’re very present in that story.


  • You’re not producing any new words –editing produces new words but it’s not quite the same;
  • You’re not getting any new stories out there and therefore not exploring new people or places;
  • This can mean you lack a means of creative expression –especially while editing, because you’re analyzing;
  • Boredom. Sometimes editing comes with some boredom.

Even now, the items on my pros list are much more significant than those on my cons list. As much as a writer wants to produce, eventually you have to sit down and rein it in if you want to get your words out there. Raw words can’t be exposed to the reader. But still, you want to produce!

I find myself grappling with this issue right now because I have a manuscript I want to start editing, a short story that is going to need so much editing, and more stories I want to write. And I just can’t do it all.

It’s important to remember that editing is an essential part of the writing process, and focus is integral to it. Perhaps when my life is better balanced and I’m not in the middle of fifty things and I can start editing my manuscript, I’ll give myself cheat days or a cheat slab of time in which I can produce new words. That way I can keep on top of my writing goal and not go stir crazy.

We’ll see. Right now I just want to finish my story.


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