Writing Update: Should I Write Short Stories?

Happy New Year!

What better way to start the year than with a writing update?

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My biggest hurdle in writing is, well, writing. Physically sitting down and writing the words and finishing the first draft have been freaking hard. I was expecting it to be difficult but, damn.

So, Distractable Daisy that I am, I almost started writing a short story last week. I follow @writersofcolor on Twitter, and this week they shared a tweet from a new serial anthology, Foreshadow YA, looking to publish YA stories. So naturally, went to their website and read all about the requirements. They are accepting YA short stories, between 2-7k words. My interest was peaked!

Of course I can do this, right?

But after looking through my drive folder with all the stories I’ve started and stopped over the years, I just don’t have a short story.

That’s not true, I do have one but it’s 150% not YA, like not even a little bit. So I opened a document and did some “free-typing” to see if I could come up with anything I would able to write in a month and send in #yikes.

The short answer is that I didn’t come up with anything. I think there is an art to short stories, one I have not thought about or practiced enough to attempt writing one just for the chance to have it published. None of the characters and situations fluttering about my brain can be conveyed in so few letters.

I once heard, or read I can’t quite remember, that short stories ask ‘what if?’ I think full-length novels do that as well, but with a short story all the strings have to be tied up pretty damn quickly, and I don’t know that I can tackle that in a couple of weeks.

So no, I don’t believe that I will be writing short stories anytime soon. Maybe I’ll submit something later this year… Besides, I have full-length things to work on.

Yes, that was things. Plural. I was looking in the mirror and talking to myself last week (as you do) and I came up with a whole story I really want to write in a setting I’ve been dying to set a story in. So I wrote that first burst of words I had relating to it. Then, while I was in the shower, some characters and a whole conversation and scene came to me. Magic I tell ya! Too bad I haven’t written it down….I should work on that.

I always have these moment s of distraction from the stories I want to tell and I think it’s because writing is such a solitary activity, and being published feels like validation. It is, in many ways but I think I have to stay true to my goals here, at least for now.

I hope you have a wonderful 2018 filled with all the things you want to do. Thank you for reading.

Word Counts:
Space Project: 12,656 words
Sand: 250 (She’s still a baby)

Come find me on Instagram: @throwabook

Checkout the new serial anthology Foreshadow YA

Follow @WritersofColor on Twitter

Catch ya next time!

NaNoWriMo didn’t go as “planned.”

Every year for the past few years I plan to do NaNoWriMo. By plan I mean I think about doing it for a few weeks then all of a sudden it’s November 1st. It’s either that or I realize it’s November and I make a 

half-assed attempt to continue writing the story I’ve been working on and do 50k in addition to what I already have. 

As you’ve probably guessed, neither of those have worked. This year, I again found myself on November 1st without a solid plan. For good reason, I’m struggling through an 8:30 to 5 job with a grueling commute and I. Am. Tired. (More on this at a later time)

Anyway it was November 1st and I was sitting at work bored and feeling inspired. So I started writing. I didn’t plan or give myself time to work and rework the plot, I decided—for the first time—to really truly pants my way into a story. Aannnd it’s been not bad! But as I write this on Black Friday, I’m only about 7300 words in….oops?

On the plus side, it’s been a long time time since I’ve written this much in 3 weeks, so yay for that. But sometime last week, I really started questioning myself and whether I was cut out to be an author. And worse, whether it was something I even wanted. I’ve never finished a full story from beginning to end.

I’m not sure of very many things in my life. But I’ve been sure about writing since 2014 and that moment of doubt I had this month really threw me for a loop…and it was the final kick in the ass I needed to get this blog up as running. This is obviously not fiction, but I want my writing out in the world no matter the format.

I’m not going to hit 50k words this November and I don’t know that I ever thought I would. I really just wanted to write everyday and write every crazy thing I could come up with. The latter has been fun. I think I wear myself out by trying to get the story perfect on the first go and I know that’s impossible. I need to make some mistakes and grow and carve out what it is I’m actually trying to say.

I’m going to keep doing this for now, editing might be a bitch if I get to that stage. But I need to stretch my creative legs a little without the self imposed pressure of wanting to be done with a story and published ASAP.

So if you need me, I’ll be over here. Writing.