So I decided that this year I would write 50 new short stories, which is pretty crazy considering I’ve written just about 30 in my entire life, not to mention I’m currently finishing up a complicated novel.
Why am I doing this?
Because Ray Bradbury encourages me to write a story a week; because practice makes perfect; because I decided to start following good advice instead of just agreeing with it; and — dammit! — this is what I want to do with my life. I want to become the best I can at it. I feel like I’ve wasted a lot of time in the past, time I could have spent developing my craft.
The reason I’m not a published professional writer right now is because I haven’t put in enough practice.
I haven’t written enough stories.
So I have instituted Short Story Sundays. No matter what’s going on with other projects, Sundays are for writing new short stories. Not only is it a great way to commit to writing more short stories, but it gives my novel-saturated brain a bit of a break and a chance to recharge.
How’s it been going?
So far, so good. The first Sunday I wrote a little science fiction story in three hours, right before my writer’s group meeting. Rah! The second Sunday, I leaped headlong into a weird tale that took me until Monday to finish, but earned me a thumbs-up from Fat Cat. Double rah!
Today is Wednesday, and I’m still working on this past Sunday’s story. But it’s okay. It just goes to show that each story is different. Some of them unspool like fishing line hooked to a live one. Others are like ancient artifacts you’re trying to unearth with a shaving brush missing half its whiskers. This one is the latter one.
But I’m not discouraged. Nope. In fact, I’m excited. I’m starting to take more risks in my writing. I’m trying different things. I don’t know if it’ll end up as pretty as I see it in my head, but I’m having fun writing. And isn’t that what it’s really about?