Soo......Story a Day! This is a post to update y'all on my progress and to talk about what it's like to push yourself way beyond your usual capacities.
As a writer I face a couple of challenges. One: I have chronic ants-in-pants. I find it physically difficult to sit with my arse in a chair for more than a few minutes. I combat this by working out a lot, to the point of exhaustion. Two: I am a relentless multitasker. Although I can focus on a task for long periods of time, I find I am super distracted by the many different things we as writers should do: draft! edit! polish! submit! blog! correspond! research! read read read!.
As a result of these two factors, it often takes me a couple of weeks to finish a short story draft.
So Story a Day, with its brutal, high-intensity schedule, is great for me, because there is no time to get distracted, and I have to keep my arse in my writing chair in order to do it. I'm finding that it is deeply satisfying to get a short story draft out in a single day.
I haven't started my challenge story today, the 5th of May. So far in four days of writing I've drafted three short stories with a total of 11 772 words. Yoicks! That's huge for me.
Day one was good: I dutifully wrote a not great story about a Greek tragic actor. I ran into a spot of trouble on day two when I came up with a great story idea that I knew was going to run long. I made some sacrifices to Chronos (by cancelling some plans) and kept writing. At 11:30, I still wasn't done the story, but I had hit a reasonable stopping point. Normally, I would let a larger story drag out. Because I was aware that I was already stretching the Story a Day guidelines, I finished it the next day: BOOM! I'm super happy about that one. At 7600 words, it's a little long, but trimming will happen later. Yesterday I wrote a silly story about catharsis. And here we are. Today I'm planning to go back to an older idea I've tried to write before, but it's never quite worked out. I will try to make it work today.
The nice thing about this challenge is that if the writing goes well, then great; if it seems like the story sucks, you can let it go at the end of the day and move on. I feel like I'm getting an education in what works and what doesn't.
I am learning too that unless I have an idea that seems like it should be flash, I am much more a short story writer than a flash writer. This is a little frustrating because I would like to write a piece in an hour or two, rather than spending all day on it. I'm all:
But I am in this to push myself, so getting out ridiculous amounts of word count this month is not a bad thing, not at all.
If you're doing Story a Day, how is it going? If you're not, what are you writing today?