Saturday, November 06, 2010

Slow Prose

I've written very little fiction this year; in between two months post-operation when reading and writing were hard, promoting "Playing Solitaire for Money", writing new poems, recording music, and getting back to reading fiction, I've not found it that easy to sit down at the computer for extended periods. I'm sometimes a writer for all seasons, and at various times my energies have been spent on stories, poetry, music, non-fiction and even drama; yet the truth is I've always written in different genres in parallel.

I've been speaking with a few novelist friends recently - who've spent months or years on the particular book - and been pleased to hear of books being published or about to be published, or with an agent, or stories winning competitions. Yet though fiction sometimes seems to be everywhere, compared to poetry, for instance, its also, strangely, less visible. There seem even less places to get short fiction published than ever - and though there are more and more presses experimenting with short novels and new fiction - they often seem to be even more obscure than poetry publishers.

Not that its lack of opportunities that has stopped me writing this year, rather that fiction requires a level of deep engagement that hasn't really fit with my life this year. I'm sure its just a passing phase, as I've certainly things I want to write, but perhaps, having such a back catalogue of fiction to look back on, I'm prioritising - and concentrating on poetry for a while seems an eminently sensible move.

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