12 May

Story A Day Challenge Weekly Update: Part 2

Posted in Process, Story A Day, Writing Challenge

I have hit the wall.  Actually, “hit the wall” would imply that there is something in my way that is stopping me from writing but that’s not quite the case.  Instead it’s the nothingness, the absence of writing momentum that is keeping me from getting back into my daily-story discipline.

It started last week, when I stalled in the middle of a story.  Then with my thesis and other obligations in the way I decided to give myself a few days off.  Big mistake.  That’s the thing with writing; it’s all about momentum.  Just as writing can lead to more writing, not-writing can cause inertia so bad that it would take a volcanic explosion of creativity to get out of it.

Of course, the worst part about not-writing is that it can be a hundred times more painful than it is to just do the writing in the first place.  Between the guilt and the endless rationalization, writing usually ends up being the easier path, even if it’s not the one of least resistance.

To that end, I’ve come up with a few small tricks I use to cheat myself into writing when I don’t want to do it.

  1. Set small goals.  I force myself to sit and write even if it’s only one paragraph or ten minutes.  Usually once I get going, the momentum kicks in and I’ll write much longer than I originally planned.
  2. Write something easy.  I start with the easy scenes or mindless assignments first, leaving projects that require more planning and thought for when my mind has loosened up.
  3. Write first.  The days I’ve been successful with the Story A Day have been those when I’ve done my story first thing in the morning.  With the story out of the way, I could then get on with my day and get on with my life.  If I let the story hang over my head, it inevitably doesn’t get done.

Anyone else have some good tips on how to break out of writing inertia?

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06 May

Anyone Want to Play Catch?

Posted in Story A Day, Writing

Yesterday I posted a question about whether publishing something on a blog meant that it was considered “already published” for the purposes of trying to submit said work elsewhere.  In particular, I wanted to know whether publishing a short story on my blog meant that then I could not submit this short story to literary magazines.

Later in the evening, I spoke with LawyerFriend–who knows all about copyright and publishing stuff.  He said that yes indeed my assumption was correct.  If you put something on your blog, it’s considered “published material” so if magazines want First Rights to your piece, you can’t submit to that magazine.  He went on to spout a lot of other legal garble that was somewhat complicated and I didn’t quite understand.  The long and the short of it is: if you think there’s a chance you may want to submit a piece somewhere, don’t post it on your blog first.  Thanks LawyerFriend!

That said, I still like the idea of posting some Story-A-Day work because it’s the thought of knowing that someone out there might be looking at my stories, thus keeping me accountable.  Which is when I got this idea:

Anyone out there wanna play catch?

Here’s how it works:

  • I toss you a story via email and you catch it.  You can toss a story back if you like, too.
  • As for what to do with the story: you don’t have to read it (though you’re welcome to if you want).  You certainly don’t have to critique or comment on it.  You just have to catch it.  And know that your story will be caught on this end.
  • If more than one person decides to play, then I’ll put an email list together and we can toss to the whole group.

If you want to play, comment below then send me an your story at: iggingabi.catch@gmail.com

p.s. If you want to keep the game separate from your regular email, just open a new gmail account and use that for catch!

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05 May

Story A Day Weekly Update

Posted in Story A Day

I’ve been working away at my Story-A-Day goal and I’ve come across one problem.  While I love the idea of posting the stories here as a write them, there are some pieces that I think may actually be worth revising after May.  The thing is, though, that once content is posted on a blog, it’s considered ” already published.”  Or at least, this is what I’ve been told.

My question for today is a two-part deal.

  1. Is it true that if you post a piece of fiction/poetry/etc. on your blog it’s considered “previously published”?
  2. How does one get around that when participating in a challenge like Story-A-Day?  Do you just not post your work?

Happy writing!

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03 May

Story A Day Challenge: Day 3

Posted in Story A Day, Writing

Today my story count jumps up to nine.  Granted, each story was only six words, so really I only wrote 54 words today, but who’s counting?  The project: write six word stories for different images I pulled from my image file.  This project was inspired by Hemingway’s shortest story “For sale: baby shoes, never worn.”  Here is my favorite six-word story that I have written to date:

 Lost: one pram, baby still inside.

For more on six-word stories check out this article from Wired.  Whether all of these stories are truly stories is up for debate, but they are interesting to read.  Some are hilarious, some tragic, some downright chilling.  A few of my favorites from this list include:

The baby’s blood type? Human, mostly.
Orson Scott Card
I’m dead. I’ve missed you. Kiss … ?
Neil Gaiman
Dinosaurs return. Want their oil back.
David Brin

Before I sign off, I’ll leave you with one more image, a six-word epitaph that tells the whole story.

What about you?  Have any six-word stories to share?

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