Writing's been lean these days. If I didn't dedicate my 45 minute lunch period to Black Hole Son, I wouldn't have time to write at all. Tasks at work are piling up. During downtime, I used to do misc writing - short stories, scene planning, writing for the blog to keep me sharp. But I've been transferred to a busier division, and my time is short. Clearly, my work is a priority, but that means my secondary career suffers. I'm not a slow writer, but it's been almost a year since I finished the rough draft of Black Hole Son, and I'm only halfway through the second draft (granted, there were intermediary drafts in there, so it's not quite a second draft in the strictest sense). Still, it's a long way to go.
My third short story (a flash piece - really), is up on Critters now. I expected to be done with BHS by the time all my shorts were done being critiqued. Now they'll be waiting in the queue for a long time. Plus I've got a couple first drafts to be revised. Plus stories that are still in the middle of their first draft. Now that I look at what I've got to do, maybe it's not a bad thing that I haven't had any story ideas or inspiration for some time. The problem is, I don't feel like any of these stories are any good. And the critiques certainly reenforced that. There's something fundamentally wrong with all of them - Healing Mage is a novel in a short story, and has a bad ending. Fairy Kingdom is all narrative. Vampire Family Story has a corrupt ending and beginning. Kaiju Story doesn't know what it wants to be. I don't know what's wrong with Old Dragonslayer Story, but I'm sure there's something.
Even if there's nothing wrong with it, it's all too middlin'. None of my stories have any punch. There's no impact, there's no great new idea, there's no beautiful writing, there's no fantastic setting or original thinking. They're boring and child-like. And I think the only way to fix this problem is to write more short stories. Unfortunately, haven't had an idea for one. That's what worries me.