Sometimes I try to use writing as a release. The trouble is, when I have a crazy week (like this week) the ideas become bottled up inside and add to my stress rather than releasing it.

Let me explain. I have always told myself stories. I have invented characters and I suspect that amateur physiologists out there will be thinking that these are the people I would like to be etc and that I am dissatisfied with my life. You’re probably right, up to a point. In many ways I am dissatisfied with my life and I suspect I always will be. The universe is a big place and I will never get a chance to explore it. That frustrates me. The world is complex and difficult and I can’t make it better. That frustrates me. Then, to cap it all I’m going to die. That scares the hell out of me. So how do I deal with it? I tell myself stories that make sense of it all. I create characters that examine it for me. Sometimes they can even make things better, but not always.

All these little daydreams and thought experiments become linked together, crystallising around a specific scenario and become written down as a short story. But if I don’t get the writing done, then they just stay in my head: turning and turning.

This is further complicated by the fact that I find writing itself a very difficult process. If the truth were told, without modern technology I probably wouldn’t have finished a single short story. Even with technological help it is slow process. For every sentence I write, I probably have to go back and correct it at least once, usually twice. It’s a long hard slog, but the story telling makes it so worth while that I carry on. But, and this is a big but, it is time consuming and I can’t just de a little bit here and there. I need a good clear couple of hours to get anything meaningful written down.

It also means that there is a lot of sitting starring at the screen.

One way I get round this is to scribble notes and write plans. This I usually do very quickly. To give an example, I wrote a story for Steampunk Tales that was just over the 10,000 words long and serialised in two parts. The plan for that was an A4 sheet torn in half and one side covered with about ten lines of notes. So that’s one note for a 1000 words. That’s a big jump, but the details are already forming long before I’ve made the notes. The notes are just there to stop me forgetting them.

I also find talking to myself a good way to develop stories. I ask myself questions (usually in character) about what happened and why and as I answer the story develops. Perhaps its time I got some voice recognition software and cut out the middle man. Wait a minute, the middle man is me, so I’d better not do that.

The other problem with me is that I want to do everything. But that is story for another day.