I don’t think I’ve written any short stories this year, not even a single piece of flash. That’s not because of any writer’s block, but simply because I’ve been overwhelmed with other things - you know, work, life, stuff. I suppose I should feel concerned about that - what if I get rusty? what if I get out of the habit? what if the ideas dry up? Maybe, though, because I’ve been writing for what seems like a long time now, I don’t find any of that concerns me. I know that the skills I’ve developed over the years of writing are not going to be forgotten that easily. I would say, like riding a bike, but as a writer I’m not allowed to use cliches :)

What I have been doing though, is continuing to read. I think that is critical. I’ve also been noticing that the quality of the writing seems (at least to me) to be getting better in the books I’ve been reading. Over the past few months I’ve read a few Tana French novels, and also everything written by Jane Harper. I think both are tremendous writers, who can portray many great psychological insights with very direct prose. I find great writing inspiring, rather than intimidating.

With summer rapidly approaching, and a holiday planned for early June (when school finishes here) I’m looking forward to writing a couple of stories during our family vacation. If you’re in the same position - with not enough time for writing - I hope you can find some time over the summer to finally put pen to paper. There may be other writers who do the requisite 2000 words every day, and then stop while on holiday. I don’t think it matters one way or the other. However you balance your writing with your life, the breaks seem to help you return refreshed as a writer. Summer is a great time to read and write - I hope you get time to do both.

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