Filling the Downtime, and Spreading the Word (of Mouth)

It’s coming around to December and rather than cold and snow, in my part of the world it’s rainy and actually somewhat balmy. I know winter’s coming – it always does – but I won’t lie, the longer it holds off the better in my humble opinion.

It’s always an odd transition, the weeks immediately following the conclusion of one of my courses. Both the students and I become very invested in the whole process, and of course the time just flies by, and then just like that it’s over. We all go our separate ways – though I do stay in touch with a number of those who have passed through my classroom – and that’s it until the next one starts up. So for a couple of weeks I’m a bit out of sorts, vaguely feeling like I’m forgetting to be somewhere I need to be. It passes, and there’s always a next semester with a new batch of eager students just around the corner.

So, what does one do to fill the time formerly dedicated to teaching writers? In my case, I’ve been working on sorting out my works in progress folder. There are far more projects in there that got put aside for one reason or another and never picked up again. I’ve decided it’s time to turn some of those good ideas into good stories and maybe even get some of them on the market. I’ve spent a lot of my writing time over the last few years working on novels. It’s been great, and I don’t regret any of that process, but it’s come at the expense of writing short stories.

What difference does it make, one might ask. Writing is writing, isn’t it? Well, sure. Any time you’re mired in the process of creating something new is time well spent, no question. The thing is, though, a novel is a much larger and more intense time commitment. It’s easy to start feeling like it’s been a little too long since you’ve produced anything, and you’re still looking for a home for the last couple you’ve written, and maybe knocking out a few shorts and getting something new with your name on it out there might make you feel a little better about doing this thing we do.

But I digress.

Speaking of novels, though: I’m still happily plugging my first one, Terror in High Water. It’s been just over a year since it came out and every once in a while I like to remind everyone that it’s not too late to recommend it to someone you know that loves horror, or drop by Amazon or Goodreads (or both, for that matter) and leave a review. It’s gotten some stellar reviews already, but there’s no such thing as too much praise or attention. Writers thrive on word of mouth and sell a lot more books based on a recommendation from other readers than anything else. So any and all feedback in places such as these where readers can see it and maybe take a chance on something new is warmly welcomed and greatly appreciated. New readers and followers here are of course also welcome. If you or someone you know would like to receive updates on what goes on around here, feel free to pop over to my contact page and fill in the minimally invasive fields.

On a final note for the day, a safe and happy Thanksgiving to all my American friends. For everyone else, be safe, talk soon!

-JP

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