Me. Finishing something. Holy crap on a cracker! (to quote one of my brand new characters) Have we accidentally bumped into one of those Star Trekkian parallel universes and switched Nikki Barnabees?
I suspect I've been especially influenced this past week by Neil Gaiman (could any writer listen to his recent address to The University Of The Arts and not want to start writing RIGHT THAT VERY MINUTE?), and then by a 1963 video doc I watched yesterday — Ray Bradbury, talking about his creative process; seeing the child-like joy he found in everything, and how amazingly encouraging he was to new writers. I've been reading his work, loving it, since I was barely old enough to read at all. I'll miss him.
I shall give in to the urge, not to churn out tons of short stories, but to set free ideas that feel like racehorses at the starting gate, all jumpy and excited and yearning to RUN. It sounds like fun. And that's what Ray Bradbury said writing should be. FUN.
Also, what I originally perceived as a problem — the fact that, having grown up reading so many genres, and having an overactive imagination that loves them all — isn't really a problem at all. Yes, I've mainly considered myself a crime/thriller writer for all these years I've worked at getting my novel finished (completely, can't change another bleepin' thing finished). And the second thriller I started.
But my short stories go in stranger directions. Science fiction (yay, Ray!) and horror.
We who would be authors are encouraged these days to “build a platform” on social media and create a focus on who you are and what you do, which is good — no, pretty much essential if you're going to self-publish, or pub with a small indie publisher, or hell, even the big-time publishing houses, who would like you to do all the work yourself, THEN come to them. But although it might be more commercially viable to stick to one genre so you don't confuse readers/book purchasers … personally, I think readers are intelligent enough to say, hey what do you know, Nik Barnabee writes all kinds of stuff.
Because, after all, Ray Bradbury wrote “all kinds of stuff” — some of it difficult to categorize at all. And he did all right. And, especially, he loved doing it. I suspect he'd have been bored writing the same kinds of stories over and over again. Not that he would have. He did things his way, always, and went wherever his awesomely creative mind took him.
And aren't we readers lucky that he did?