When I'm having trouble writing a longer piece, I close the file and slip back into a familiar place for me, writing flash fiction. It's like slipping on a big pair of fuzzy slippers all warm and cozy - comfortable. It helps me find the sweet spot of a story, helps me write tight, and keeps me writing forward instead of wallowing in self-pity because my story isn't working. Yes, sometimes you just have to give yourself a break. And I've been writing a lot of flash lately. It keeps me going when I'm ready to throw in the writing towel and quit. You see, with flash you can write and finish a story in an hour or two and feel like you've accomplished something. It's a big ego boost when you're floundering.
Plus I've been submitting them, something I've been slacking off from with the longer pieces. I've had a few accepted and they'll be published soon along with a really long story that I'm pretty pleased with (and totally excited about the market that's going to publish it).
Anyhoo, one of those flash piece is up over at MicroHorror. Yes, I entered their Halloween contest. I had a drabble that kept bugging me, so I lengthened it and worked in the "eyes" theme. It was great fun, though I'm afraid it's not all that horrific. You can check "Panic Attack" out here if you're of a mind and be sure to read the other stories that are posted. There's some really great writers out there.