Over May, I wrote 30 short stories. It was essentially one a day.
Some days the ideas flowed and I created something great. Other days I found myself empty and had to just run with whatever I could come up with. Over May, I had only two days when I didn’t finish a story, but everyday I wrote for one. At the end of it, it all worked out, with 30 stories written.
It was a great challenge and learning experience, and there is no reason why you can’t learn from what I did. Here are my lessons from writing everyday:
1. You Have Time
This is a big one.
We always like to think that we don’t have time. We’re too busy. Well it’s all well and good for some people, BUT I am too tangled up to do X.
We can apply the “I don’t have time” excuse to anything that’s purpose is to improve one’s self.
Writing, reading, exercising, dieting, or learning any new skill. The perfect, at the ready excuse is “I don’t have time.”
Well, you do.
When I wrote my 30 stories over May, I always found time. If I was pressed, I’d spend only 15-20 minutes on a story. Even someone who is working full-time, has a family, and all the rest of it, could probably spare 15 minutes. 5 minutes at least if things were bad.
There is always time if you are committed to something. What matters is you keep at it every day.
A lot of the time my stories were bad, and at the moment, they are still bad, but I found time to do them.
After writing these stories, it made me realize, if I really want to do something, I do have the time. If I want to do a daily post here on Talepress, then yes, I do have the time. This was the first thing I learned from lessons from writing everyday
2. Your Work Isn’t Perfect
A normal piece of writing gets edited and rewritten so many times before it is “published,” it would be hard to believe. Some books look like a different species when compared with the first draft that birthed them.
With 30 stories in a month, I didn’t have the chance to linger on one story. After I wrote one, I uploaded it, and was done with it, as I had to move onto the next.
That meant that bad ideas, spelling and grammatical errors, broken endings, weak plots, they all got carried onto the “final” product and uploaded. Honestly, I would not recommend this, but I was doing it for my challenge, so, up they went.
While I would feel I should do something more with them, I knew that the next day I had a new story to write. I had to accept that my work wasn’t at its best, and just move on to the next for the sake of the whole challenge.
It’s the same with writing a novel. If you linger and lose momentum, then the novel never gets written.
If you want to complete some work, learn a new hobby or skill, then your going to have to face the truth that your work isn’t going to be perfect, and for now, that’s okay.
3. Ideas Come From Ideas
With 30 stories written in first draft form, I know have 30 new sources of inspiration to draw off.
I’d say that one of these stories was excellent. It will be a fantastic short story once I have rewritten and edited it.
A few more were great. They’ll need a lot of work, but they can be crafted to be much better.
A lot more were average to bad, but every story I wrote had potential for something more.
Looking back at them, a lot of them have the seeds for novels in them. They have the right “feel” if I should want too, then I have some groundwork to build off. This is all possible because I wrote them in the first place.
When you set about to create something new, sometimes you fail. And sometimes, if you are lucky, that failure will prepare you for a real success.
4. Short Stories Have Terrible SEO
If you don’t know what SEO is, it is basically how well google likes your posts. If you have the right keyword density, SEO title ect then it ranks better with google. Articles and blog posts can be written so that they slip in perfectly.
Writing short stories and uploading them are more like an ugly step sister trying to fit into Cinderella’s slipper. Filling a short story up with “keywords” sortof butchers it, and there is really no good way to do it.
So, while I have written 30 short stories, I have also written 30 “posts” that do not rank well on google, and will do nothing to drive traffic to my website or my medium. It’s lucky I was doing this more for a challenge than to build traffic, but hey, some more readers would have been nice.
5. People don’t want to read your *&^* stories
So, you write a story.
You DON’T spend much or any time editing it.
You DON’T rewrite it until it is perfect, or at least good.
You DON’T Market it well or run any sort of successful promotion.
Instead, you upload a first draft, error-filled “thing” that may or may not potential, and then move onto your next abomination.
Well that was me over May. Pretty good plan, right?
It was a great challenge, but it highlighted a truth, that people don’t want to read your stories, and especially not if they are not your best.
People want help with their problems. Normally, people don’t go for reading random short stories filled with errors online for entertainment.
If I had written the best stories I could of, then maybe I would have gained more traction. One of my stories, Falling Up, was liked and read more than my others, even though right now I have no natural readers and no serious promotional strategy.
The one gem out of all my stories somehow got read. People are drawn to good content. If I had written 30 stories on that level, and had kept a high-standard, maybe I would have gained more from my challenge.