Author Advice

Susie Bright and Experimental Writing

Consider experimental writing as your first escape from burnout. Don’t worry about what defines experimental — consider it anything that you don’t usually do. It’s your holiday from familiar pets and formulas; it’s your invitation to a risk.

How to write a dirty story
by Susie Bright

I have been writing a lot lately. By that I mean the sheer quantity of words I put on the page every day has increased exponentially, partially because I decided to make writing my full-time job (goodbye, library!) and partially because of certain looming deadlines (hello, stress!). Something I’ve been struggling with is how to keep my writing fresh, original, and, more than anything, fun for me to engage with. I firmly believe that if I don’t get some joy out of writing, you won’t get any joy out of reading what I’ve written. So sitting down with energy and excitement to the keyboard every day is really important to me.

I’ve adopted Bright’s advice above and engaged in several writing experiments — side projects is what I think of them as. They’re writing projects that are in some way far afield from what I usually work on. For example, I am currently working on a short (only 40k) mafia romance story for an anthology my publisher is putting together next year. Why is this experimental for me? Well…:

  1. I have never written in the mafia romance genre.
  2. I have never written a story that length before.
  3. My publisher has some specific asks as far as…shall we say spice level? These asks are above and beyond the kind of spice I’ve written in the past.

All of these facets of the project are keeping me limber, stretching me in directions that are new and interesting, and helping me explore new challenges in my writing life, while still leaving me enough time and energy to focus on the other writing that needs to get done too.


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Published by rsjeffrey

Robin Jeffrey was born in Cheyenne, Wyoming to a psychologist and a librarian, giving her a love of literature and a consuming interest in the inner workings of people’s minds.

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