“Writing is easy, you just open a vein and bleed” — Red Smith
So you want to be a writer.
And not just any ole’ writer, you want to be a STORY writer. A novelist, a wizard of words, a spinner of tales who delights readers with your imagination and wows audiences with your mind.
Only problem is, you’re not sure where to start.
And you’re afraid you might not be all that good.
You’ve tried scribbling out a few stories, but they fell far short of your hopes and expectations.
You wanted to show people your work, but it wasn’t good enough to share. You’ve tried giving up, and doing something else, but somehow, you are continually drawn back to this dream, this longing to write stories.
You’re not even sure where this desire comes from, but it’s just there. You can’t get rid of it. You’ve wanted to write stories as long as you can remember.
It’s like you’re trapped between a rock and a hard place. What can you do about it?
Well, have you ever tried writing 30 stories in 30 days?
That’s what I do, once a year.
And after a month of holing up in a single room, typing like a madwoman, and frantically combing YouTube and Google and my old book notes for last-minute story ideas, I always end the month assuring myself that I am not putting myself through that again.
And yet, here I am.
Have I lost my marbles (not to mention the entire aquarium)? Am I a few poached eggs short of a Full English Breakfast? Has writer’s desperation zapped away the last shred of my sanity?
Erm…don’t answer that.
I promise, I have good reasons for diving back into the insanity. In fact, I’m about to tell you some of them.
Here are the three reasons I’m participating in September’s Story A Day:
Reason #1: Because EVERYONE Needs to Learn (and Practice) Story Writing (Especially Writers!)
It doesn’t matter what you do in life, strong storytelling skills will help you tremendously…especially if you’re a writer.
Storytelling is essential for copywriter, bloggers, novelists, etc.
Why? Because human beings think in story. Stories let us communicate with each other, connect with each other, care about each other.
And that’s what writing is about, in part — communication, connection, care.
I admit, I don’t spend enough time honing my story writing chops. So it’s time to fix that, by writing a story a day.
Writing a story a day is a great way to practice story writing, because, well, short stories are challenging (trust me, long ones are easier). And because I have to do 30 of them. You do 30 of anything, and I promise, you will get better at that thing. Somehow.
Reason #2: Because It’s a Kick in the Pants
There’s an old saying that: if you want something to get done, give it to the busiest person.
I’ve found that to be perversely true in my own life. When I am busier, I tend to get more done (like the time when I was trying to write a novel, teach, and blog daily at the same time…without dying)
As human beings, we need to both work hard and REST hard. The past few weeks, I have been in a more or less “resting” period and it’s time to ramp things back up now.
And starting the month with a challenge like Story A Day sounds perfect. Let’s do this!
Reason #3: Because It’s a Change of Scenery
The past couple months, I’ve been focusing mainly on nonfiction writing, based on my current writing system.
And even though I am a huge proponent of writing systems, as you can see…
…sometimes you need to change things up to keep things interesting.
Writing is hard, but it should also be fun, and fun usually goes with “new.” (I’m sure I’ll be kicking myself come September 21, but for now, this challenge sounds new enough to be fun)
I am Fully Prepared for These Stories to Suck
Sometimes, failure is not an option — it is a necessity. So I’d rather practice failing by writing a few bad stories now, than wait to fail massively later.
That’s another benefit, by the way, of participating in writing a story a day: killing (or temporarily disabling) your Inner Perfectionist because you simply don’t have time for that kind of nonsense.
I mean, hello, you’ve got 30 stories to write in 30 days! So yeah. Get writing.
The great science fiction writer Ray Bradbury once gave this piece of advice:
Write a short story every week. It’s not possible to write 52 bad short stories in a row.
I’m just trimming the 52 down to 30 and stuffing it all in one month instead of stretching it out over a year.
Is that insane?
Will all the stories turn out to be cra — uh, crazy bad?
And will you get to watch me fumble and fail the whole entire way?
Yes, absolutely yes.
(If you want to)
Wanna Join Me?
If you would like to take the plunge and write a story a day yourself, you can join me and a team of other crazy committed writers here!
And if you do sign up, let me know in the comments, or email me so that I can offer you my condolences…I mean, congratulations.
Really, it’s a lot of fun. I promise 😃 (I am not crossing my fingers behind my back)
Okay, enough chatting. Time to get story-writing.
Bring it on!
Ready to Kick Off Your Writing Career?
I’ve created a system to help you find and harness the discipline and inspiration to write a story a day, and beyond. Get the dig here: