Monday, September 1, 2014

Week One: Short Story September

Happy Labor Day.

And by the way, this completely feels like day one of filling out a brand new diary.  It will be interesting to look back and see if

1.) I even write four short stories.  I mean…I AM. I AM going to write four short stories (I'm using The Secret)
or if
2.) I blog about any of it.

But I swear to you, people of the blog reading world…I am totally writing.  I am NOT watching a Shark Tank marathon.

But if I WERE watching a Shark Tank marathon (hypothetically speaking) it would be because I've never had any desire to watch any episodes of this show until I sat down to write my story tonight.

Can you say, "SQUIRREL?!"

Seriously, I did do a little pre-Short Story September reconnaissance so I know the story line of what I'm going to write about and started writing on Friday so I kind of feel, as I used to say in college at midnight, the night before exams while watching The Carnie Wilson show, I'm WAY ahead of the game.

So far, my takeaway is this…

What I have noticed as I take my idea and try to put it in written form is how laborious writing can be.  It's been kind of a long time since I wrote a short story.  My ideas in my head are AMAZING.  They are fast-paced and quippy. Sometimes, thinking of a story line in my car can near bring me to tears…which really confuses the Starbucks baristas in the drive thru…but writing them down? Arranging the details on paper…crafting dialogue…all those quotation marks?  Well, I'm finding writing is less of an art and more of a test of endurance.

When I write a blog post, an article or personal essay…it's really just a quick stream of my own thoughts…there's not a whole lot of editing that goes on there. If you know me in person…you kind of know that I am the person I write about in my blog.

But this is a different animal.

It's a mental game. That's why the more I dive into this field, the more I learn and the more I pursue…well, the more forgiving I am when I finish a terrible book because I think…"but they finished it. They actually wrote things down until they were done."

Who am I to believe that my stories are any better, because, I haven't even taken the time to write them down.

I guess being a writer in your head is kind of a form of rejection avoidance.

But I challenge you…even if you don't write…even if it's something else that you want to do but don't. Go out and do it.  Don't just pursue things in your mind.  Pursue them in person.  So you may be terrible.  Almost guaranteed you'll be terrible at first. I try to teach my son that he's not going to be great at something the first time he tries it. Chances are, most things we do at first, WE WILL SUCK AT!  I tell him to keep trying.

How can I not also take that advice?

So this is week one. I am starting to draft my first short story.  I am going to try to remember this:

"I'm simply shoveling sand into a box so later I can build castles."  ~ Shannon Hale

I love that quote.  Take the stress out of the first draft…write it all, as it flows. Do not stop to edit, keep writing…get all the sand into the box you can…you'll be so glad you did when you go back to edit it.

I am not going to blog every day…I'm not Doogie Houser.  I'm just going to pop in from time to time, as I avoid writing, to tell you how it's going.

I have two amazing lady writers, Ann and Rachel on this journey with me…it's not too late to join us. No one is posting anything for public view unless they want to.  We don't even need to read it…just join us for moral support if you would like to.

Also, I have a pretty fun Pinterest Board dedicated to writing that you are welcome to check out.

I'm amazing at hoarding other people's advice.  I do go through my board and try to read all the articles so I can weed out the links that go no where, but I'm sure a few have slipped past me.

Happy writing,
Rachel