• Thomas Gaffney

Editing & Chasing the Next Shiny Thing

Updated: Apr 28, 2021

Editing. The best part of writing (IMHO) and the bane of other people's existence. I just finished editing a short story (HOUSE) that was my final assignment for last semester at SNHU. Ms. C really seemed to like it and offered some final pointers when giving me the final grade. I took most of them to heart (and did away with the neighbor), and I submitted the story to Nightmare Magazine. I'm not hopeful (I don't think I'm good enough), but it's exhilarating to say that I sent something to them. And each day I don't get a rejection is another day I can dream…

Now that I got that story submitted, I still need to work on short stories for the collection I want to finish by the end of 2021. I just finished one called DRIP about a Deaf woman who has a leak in her apartment. I'm looking forward to editing that one. There are things I know that must come out, as well as things I know I need to add. I forgot them in the first draft lol. Plus, I'll need to find a Sensitivity Reader to make sure I got everything correct and respectful, but my Writing The Other class I took was about Deaf/Blind characters. Hopefully, I put what I learned in that class to good use, and the Sensitivity Reader won't have much to correct. But DRIP is put in the drawer for a week or two before revisions while I work on a new story that's called SICK for the time being.

And this is where I come to "The Next Shiny Thing." It's something I did a LOT when I first started writing in my free time. I would begin a story idea I had, get about 20,000 words into it, get a new idea, and jump to the new story—abandoning the original one. It took me a LONG time to break that habit, but I'm certainly glad I did. I never finished anything until I started to work on short stories. And I'm glad that habit is gone because on a walk yesterday after work, I got an idea for a new story. It's been two days now and I've fought off the desire to drop what I'm doing and jump into this new story. Instead, it sits—percolating and getting more concrete in my mind—while I work on SICK. It'll probably be the next story I start, but I'm proud that I've been able to keep it on the backburner so far. Babysteps.

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