So. A couple of weeks ago I left you on a bit of a cliff-hanger. My aim was to complete 12 stories and send them out into the world before the year is out. I said I had a plan. But with only two months left and nine stories still to write, how could I ever catch up?
Two weeks later, and I have raised the total number of stories I have sent out into the world to eight! How have I increased my productivity so dramatically? Well, it’s through the use of a couple of specialised techniques which I will explain to you in this
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Technique number one: Finishing half-finished work
Whilst I have not written every week, I have had bursts of writing in the last two years whenever I’ve had some time off from the day-to-day grind. I discovered that I had filled an entire notebook with first drafts and experiments in writing, amounting to a dozen short stories between occasional guitar chord diagram, notes for other dormant projects and several thousand pages of, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”.
In the last couple of weeks, I have been typing up these stories and editing them into some sort of palatable form. This has yielded three stories that I thought were good enough to send out into the world. Of course, there’s no guarantee that any of these will be picked up, but that’s beside the point. The point is to actually finish work and get it out there.
Technique number two: Cheating
What is a “story”? When I made my writing resolutions, what did I mean by “Send out one finished short story a month to writing competitions or other opportunities”? Does entering a haiku competition count as an “other opportunity”? Does a story of less than 100 words count as a short story? Of course it does! It’s a very short story! You couldn’t get short-story-er than that!
I’ve written a couple of new things in the last couple of weeks. One was for a haiku competition and took me five minutes. Hopefully it was funny though. Assuming it doesn’t win, I’ll post it up here.
The second was a one hundred word story for The Drabble blog. In my other writing, I’ve mainly been concentrating on learning about story structure and character. I found only having one hundred words at my disposal made me really concentrate on prose.
Trying to stick to this goal means I have been putting a lot more work into writing (more than none) and am beginning to feel overwhelmed by how much I have to learn. But let’s not look into the yawning abyss of that which I do not know about writing and concentrate on the small amount I have achieved. Five down, four more to go!
In other news, the world is going to absolute shit. So here’s Rage Against the Machine jumping about on Wall Street. That’ll help won’t it?