Giving Oneself a Headache

She sits down to write a short story, one she thought of while staring
at the now terribly familiar stretch of highway between Ohio and

She writes about 200 words, then checks her friends’ list, makes dinner, watches a bit of Star Wars.

She then looks back at her 200 words and realizes that this sounds
nothing like a CMV story, that it is plain ol’ fiction without any kind
of Byzantine linguistic calisthenics. And that, of course, there is a
way to write this story in her usual style, with the usual bang and
smash. But maybe she shouldn’t, maybe she should barrel through the
neat little subjects and predicates and make something more normal.

But then, every time I try that, I get my ass rejected on grounds of
not sounding like myself, and not experimenting on the level that is
now expected. But I have no faith in my instincts when it comes to short stories: I don’t like writing them, and I don’t think I’m very good at them. But I know that I should, because that is what one does between novels. Although “between novels” would be a hilarious and ironic–for some values of ironic–way to describe my literary locale at the moment.

What to do?

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