I published five stories in September (2018), and I have a dozen more in submissions. Of the September publications, my proudest piece is “A Cycle of Toxic Domestication.” I’m telling you this because it represents the pinnacle of my writing success this year. I had written most of the stories that were published in the last few months over the summer, or at the beginning of the school year. I had the ability (and luxury) to think freely, to let loose and comfortably sink into a pool of ideas conjured by my brain. Now, unfortunately, I feel too overwhelmed to do this. Though, I’m never too busy to write. I simply cannot write as much as I’d like to.
I have been reading the New Yorker since early 2016. One of my long-term goals is to publish a short story in this magazine, despite how political and difficult it is to even be considered for publication. I know, there are plenty of other prestigious magazines out there, and trust me I’m aiming to one day publish in some of them as well. However, I’m a little concerned that I’m running out of steam. My PhD program is kicking my ass, and I rarely find time to enjoyably write. My prose often feels forced. I find myself staring at a blank canvas, desperately attempting to regurgitate anything but mediocrity after a long day of reading scientific articles/textbooks as well as meeting additional demands of my courses and advisors. Though, I realize this isn’t a real excuse. There are countless people out there who probably tackle on more responsibilities every day and still find the time to write (and produce good work). I’m searching for this balance, something that works for me. Trust me, I don’t intend on giving up. I just need time to figure this all out.
So, I’m taking a short break. I’m going to catch up on my academic obligations and then take a few steps back to reflect. I’ll still be writing as much as I can everyday, but I won’t be focused on publishing and sharing my works until this semester is over. Thanks for reading.
P.S. I have a few pieces scheduled to debut at the beginning of next year. Keep an eye out for them, if you’re interested. A link is below: