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It’s been a strange week. I’ve been doing a few things I know I shouldn’t be doing. Moping, for one. I have my reasons, but it’s best not to let my head get into that place for too long. Also, I’ve been bugging a writer friend of mine about her work. Well, technically it’s not bugging. I left a review for one of her stories saying that I wished it was longer (I mean for her to take it as a compliment) and when I talked to her privately, I asked about a series – more specifically, when more was coming.

Neither of those actions were bad, per se. Both mean that I want to see more of her writing, particularly with regards to characters I’d read and connected with. But I know how it feels when a well-meaning someone finishes a story they like and the next words out of their mouth are, “Then what happens?”

Writing, especially when it comes to short stories or series, can be full of anxiety about how we as writers could have done so much more. It runs the gamut from readers wondering why the next installment is taking so long to asking why the original story wasn’t longer to accomodate unresolved plot lines. Writers are even accused of splicing full stories into segments to make more money. Not going to lie. That does happen. And I think it’s crappy. There may be a legit reason (too long for a single volume print run, for example), but hitting a cliff hanger when you thought you bought a full story is no fun for a reader.

Where am I going with this? Simple. Appreciate the story for what it is. Appreciate the writers for what they do. We put a ton of pressure on ourselves, and that’s before we read the reviews or get messages from fans, friends and critics about what we could’ve, should’ve, or what they would’ve done in our stead. Be excited about the next segment, yes. But, most of all, be supportive when you like what you’ve read so far. That encouragement will go a lot farther in helping that writer pen the next adventure in the series you’ve invested in than anything else.