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  • Writer's pictureMark Meier

Composing or Decomposing

For most of the last year I've spent the vast majority of my writing time self-editing. That means I haven't been doing much actual writing. It's all related to the activity, but it's different.

Recently, however, I did write a new short-ish story in The Brotherhood. By the time I finished the story it was more than 10,000 words. That's hardly a "short" story. More like a novella. Then I had a decision to make: cut it in half, or expand into a novel?

Thing is, it was a first draft so would require more words to flesh things out. So how do I polish it up while slashing my word count? I decided to go with expanding. But it's a back-burner story, so it's shelved for now.

A lot of my time for the past twelve months was involved in editing my contributions to The Handy Wisconsin Answer Book (available for preorder at your favorite book seller - Amazon, Barnes and Noble, etc.), so that took up a lot of time.

Another project, Ravid (Book One in a trilogy), went through self-editing, and I passed it along to others to critique. Again, not actually writing.

This week I wanted to get back into Ebony Sea. I have five shorts in ES:1 (four of those available on Kindle) already finished. That means only five more to go and ES:1 will be ready for print.


I'm out of practice producing actual fiction. In this case, science fiction. With so much editing and polishing, I haven't actually done much in the way of putting down words. Since Ebony Sea has been idle for a couple of years, it's hard getting back into the swing of that story line.

It turns out that instead of composing, my writing skills have been decomposing.

Let that be a lesson to writers everywhere. If you're going to write, WRITE. Use it or lose it. And don't neglect one aspect of your skill set while you focus on the rest of it.


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