Monday, February 9, 2009

Write Every Day... Except During Tax Time - Ken Kuhlken

By Ken Kuhlken
Novelist, short story writer

Maybe a hundred times I’ve heard writers comment that if you take this vocation seriously, you need to write every day. Well, they all must live in a different dimension than the one I live in. Here, stuff happens.

Like occasional burnout. Tax time. Catching up on all the nonsense such as bill paying, household chores, yard work, and family outings I didn’t do when I was writing every day. Not to mention a day job, which for me at this point is trying to do justice to teaching and serving as president of Perelandra College.

No whining intended. I’m preparing to make a point. Which is, the most valid reason for writing every day is that once you take days off (let alone a month or two), getting started and finding momentum again is an arduous proposition.

It’s likely I won’t return to the current novel until around March 1. So, in order to jump start the reentry, I hope to arrive at that date with a solid outline of the rest of the novel. Even if I feel no need to stick to the outline, having a solid one urges me on, so I can reach those scenes I most long to write and read.

Ken Kuhlken’s stories have appeared in Esquire and dozens of other magazines and anthologies, been honorably mentioned in Best American Short Stories, and earned a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. He has been a frequent contributor and a columnist for the San Diego Reader.

His novels are Midheaven, a finalist for the Ernest Hemingway Award for best first novel, The Loud Adios (Private Eye Writers of America Best First Mystery Novel, 1989), The Venus Deal, The Angel Gang, The Do-Re-Mi (a January Magazine best book of 2006 and a finalist for the Shamus Award for Best PI Novel), and The Vagabond Virgins (February, 2008). Visit Ken at

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