Yesterday, I got quite a lot done in general, and still managed to write about 1,500 words to loosely start off my next short story. This one is a Fantasy tale, one in a series of short stories leading up to and surrounding a novel in the same universe.
After I finished the second draft of my Science Fiction short story, I decided to give it a break before taking another stab at it.
I keep a deck of large index cards in an envelop on my desk. Each card is blank on one side, and on the other is written a quick synopsis of a short story. I go to my partner and ask him to pick one blindly.
That's the next story I am writing.
I know I won't be able to do things this way forever; there will come a time where I have deadlines on specific pieces and will no longer have such luxuries, but for now, I embrace the process.
My biggest problem when I'm ready to start the next story is choosing which one is worth the attention. As a writer, all of my tales are precious to me. And, since I used to lack the time to actually sit and write, I have quite a backlog of story ideas.
Each of the short stories from my cards is fully fleshed out in what I call Beta Draft. I use this term as a title for the combination of written notes and mental imagery I have for each story, before I start Draft 1 (Alpha Draft).
Picking a card and sticking to it has given me an immense amount of structure, which I desperately needed. Focus is key. That, and a whole lot of self belief.
Never Give up on Your Dreams,