I have a love/hate relationship with word count. I want the story to take all the time it needs to unfold, on the other hand…I am intensely attracted and insanely infuriated by the challenge of the limitation. I think I could tell any story in 2000 words but in 1500 or even 1200? That is where your writing rubber hits the narrative road. My current project ended at over 2700 words and needs to get down to 1500 and still deliver its emotional payload. I edit and edit with the deadline approaching vacillating between a fury of frustration with myself to keep all the threads of the story present and in order and spiritual euphoria when what I am wanting in the story comes to me. A short short story requirement forces the aesthetic of poetry on the form of prose.
Writing fiction helped my poetry because writing is good for writing.
The artist’s experience lies so unbelievably close to the sexual, to its pain and its pleasure, that the two phenomena are really just different forms of one and the same longing and bliss.
I know if I am not feeling that level of intensity when I am writing (with what I am writing) that I am just phoning it in. When I do work that I feel has some courage and life and fire in it, I feel the same level of vulnerability writing that I feel as when I am making love.