With Second Wave in the last throes of beta reading, No Marigolds marinating as I serialize it, and nothing to start on until I get Storming Amargosa and a crime novel both mapped out, I need something to keep original words flowing. Some would say, "Well, you're blogging. Isn't that original writing?"
I've never seen blogging, at least the way I do it, as the same type of writing as fiction or even professional writing. I often blog while watching TV. In fact, I wrote the first paragraph while watching the most recent Bengals game and am finishing up while watching the last two episodes of Iron Fist.
So what do I do?
Well, I've talked here before about riffing, writing work that I have no intention of releasing. Some of it would be fanfic if I were releasing it into the wild. It's using something existing just to keep the muscles limber. Some of it is simply pieces of stories that are, on the whole, unusable, but still interesting to me. Together, they even yield bits that might turn up in work I intend to sell.
For instance, I've talked about the Rocker Bio here a few times. There was one scene in this "autobiography" where he relates a time he caught his son smoking a joint. It was the early 1980s, but rather than the standard "Just Say No" lecture, he finishes the joint with him, tells him stories of backstage weed. And when the roach is flushed, our rocker hero says, "We just flushed a big reason why I was so bad a father. Don't do it again under my roof."
Now, whether you find that offensive or if you thought that was really cool, you have to admit that's a powerful scene. But you'll never read it in that form. It could turn up in the Compact Universe, in a crime novel, or in something I haven't come up with yet. Different characters, and the context will be different, but it'll turn up eventually.
I try to write everyday. It's more difficult these days than it was in the past. I would love to bang out 2000 words a day. I'm probably still capable of it, but time is more constrained than it once was. At some point, I may have to reprioritize.
So for now, I plan my stories out ahead of time. And I riff.