Thursday, September 17, 2009

One Down!

Yesterday I finished my first short story of my Four Short Challenge. Right on time, as usual. (Actually . . . I'm always running later, but you get the point.) This story is similar in some was to my novelette. It's first person present, troubled male POV. Still no working title though. And in other news, I've already got the idea for the next story. No troubled male this time, but very possibly a troubled woman.

Anyway, I've had yet more epiphanies with this exercise. (Told you I was good at pondering.) Among the many other benefits I've noticed, this one this came to me morning. The more I write, the less hope I attach to each story. Now that may not sound like a good thing, but trust me, it is. I didn't pay much attention to the fact that I was doing it, but before, every time I would write a story or work on a novel, I would subconsciously lay all of my hopes for publication on it.

This is it. This is better than Previous Story, and it's all I've got, so it has to be the one.

Know what I mean? But now as I am adding more to the pile, that pressure is fading. This could be it, or that one, or that one I'm about to write. Publication is no longer the focus. It's about writing a story I love. And as those stories pile up, I'll have plenty of options to choose from in my quest for publication. It's all very encouraging. Who'd have thought that pushing myself to complete four stories in a month would be so relaxing?

14 comments:

Natalie said...

I so know what you mean! I, uh, have my own little library of possibilities, lol. It is liberating in a weird way.

I'm glad you're not pinning everything on one book anymore:)

Kiersten White said...

WOOT! I am so proud of you : ) I think this is such a good idea!

sraasch said...

I am continually in awe of people who can write short stories. You = Amazing. Go you, Renee, go you :)

Patti said...

That's such a good point. I think I've done that for too long and have started writing other stuff.

Miriam S.Forster said...

I'm with you on the lessening of pressure. For me the more I write, the more confidence I have too. "This story/novel isn't working but that's okay. I can write another one."

Isn't it a great feeling?

Renee Collins said...

Natalie-I actually referenced you in my thoughts this morning. I was all, "I'm almost like Natalie now." he he :)

Kiersten-Thanks!

Sara-lol, I think you should try it! They are surprisingly easy once you get into the swing of it. And, to me anyway, I find them just as rewarding and enjoyable as novels. Only SO MUCH LESS TIME! :)

Patti-Definitely. It's hard because we love our stories, and so we put our hopes on them. It's nice to write other stuff to see that we have lots of options.

Renee Collins said...

Miriam-A great feeling! In fact, I think I might be temporarily hooked on short stories. :)

candicekennington said...

I think your epiphany makes perfect sense. It's a reminder to me that I just need to keep writing and writing. Good job on finishing your first story!

candicekennington said...

Word verification--prose. No kidding!! I didn't even know they used real words for verification. It's a sign!

Lady Glamis said...

That's awesome, Renee! I'm getting to the same point with my writing. Publication is climbing out the window. When I'm ready I'll invite it back in.

Keep up with the writing!

storyqueen said...

There IS strength in numbers. I need to write the stuff that I write, but only some of it will be right for publication.

Creating a nice collection of your work can only make you stronger!

Congrats!

Shelley

Jessie Oliveros said...

Way to reach your goal! I hope I can get to the point where I have so much writing that I can feel some of it is for fun. You know, I have a troubled male in my book. The last book I was writing had a very confident, secure male, and he just wasn't doing it for me. I am definitely all about the troubled ones.

Kasie West said...

That's awesome. And I would agree with the thought that the more you have written the less you have riding on each one. It is a nice feeling. I, like Sarah, am super impressed with short story writers. I can't for the life of me do that.

Terresa said...

This is beautiful. Especially your thoughts that "publication is no longer the focus. It's about writing a story I love." How cool is that? You inspire!

I just read Raymond Carver's "Cathedral" (short story) last night for the first time in ages. Made me realize how much I miss the short story format.