2019 Day 30 – Roll Call

This it! The end of StoryADay 2019! You are an absolutely rockstar for being here today!

Do me a favor? Leave a comments below, and answer these two questions:

  1. How many stories did you write
  2. Did you meet your goal (or get close enough to feel proud of yourself)?

But don’t forget to write today’s story.

The Prompt

About A Writer

Normally I don’t encourage stories about writers because it seems kind of cheap (and uninteresting for the readers), but today I think you’ve earned it.

  • Use this prompt to write a story about a writer like yourself who has just undergone a big challenge.
  • Or satirize the idea of writing about a writer.
  • Or use it any other way that occurs to you. (And hey, it worked for Stephen King, so who am I to question it?)

Use all the tricks you’ve been practicing this month to show us what a day in the life of a writer can be.

Planning Ahead

You’ve achieved so much this month. I’m so proud of you.

To keep the momentum going, mark your calendars for these StoryADay events throughout the year.

  • Serious Writer’s Accountability Group (SWAGr) – 1st of every month (sign up for reminders here)
  • Critique Week, October 20-17 – A chance to get your story reviewed by your peers and by me (more details coming soon)
  • NaNoWriMo Support Group – for members of the Superstars group only.
  • Critique Week, February 22-29 – A chance to get your story reviewed by your peers and by me (more details coming soon)
  • And much more, including weekly writing prompts on Wednesdays, posts in The Reading Room, podcasts, interviews, and workshops.
  • Use the StoryADay Events calendar to stay up to date


Don’t forget to leave a comment saying how many stories you wrote this month, and how you feel about it! Then come back tomorrow to record your June goals in the SWAGr post.

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61 thoughts on “2019 Day 30 – Roll Call”

  1. I have 5 short stories done. Progress, given my work schedule, is still progress so I’m pleased this first go-around. Hopefully next time I’ll have things set better, sans the high out-side stressors, so I can jump in more fully.

    1. Di, that’s fabulous, and I bet it’s more than you wrote last month, right? (And don’t let this site fool you, most people aren’t writing 5 stories a month!)

      Perhaps it’s good that you jumped in on a busy-work month, since writing-around-stressors is something we all have to learn to do.


  2. I am delighted to have been a part of this amazing group of people creating stories with Julie. I wrote 14 snippets which may become real stories at some point. I was able to explore more ideas for my on-going novel by using the exercises given out in Storyaday. I created conflict and dialogue where I had none before. So, thanks to everyone for taking on the spirit of this adventure and going for it.
    I found that the 40 minute formula didn’t always work well for me (sometimes a little bit more or less is the key). I did not meet the goal of writing something every single day (but I’m working on it). Most of all, I am writing again after having stopped after my diagnosis of diabetes last year.
    I hope to continue this journey and begin to call myself a writer again. Julie, you rock!

    1. Willa, So glad that this was a fruitful month for you and that some of the tools I provided were helpful.

      Most of all, I’m glad to hear that you got back to writing after your diagnosis. These big life events can throw us for a loop and demand a lot of our time and attention, but self-care is so important, and I definitely include ‘writing’ in that category, don’t you?

      Keep writing, and looking after yourself!

  3. Well, considering this was my first time doing Story A Day, I think I did all right. Maybe not as well as I had hoped, but not nearly as bad as I had feared. This was definitely a great exercise, and while I found that I didn’t always follow the formula for a 40-minute story, but it did often give me a springboard as well as structure. More importantly, it proved that one can in fact get a draft for a story done in an hour if you put your mind to it and make sure the time is set aside. So thank you, Julie, for setting up this challenge and for the helpful webinars that got me to try this out!

    Grand total: 13 stories!

    Out of those, I feel like about half of them are actually pretty decent and with a little clean-up might be worthy of submissions somewhere:

    Verdigris: A Steampunk Retelling of Bluebeard
    Roots & Wings
    They Would Have Left A Doe Alone
    The Crippled Couple (for Tales of Landfall)
    Toying With Expectations
    The Distal King

  4. I wrote 20 stories this month. Some that actually seem like they would be worth working on some more. I’m pretty happy with my progress. I’m hoping that I can keep the momentum going and continue writing regularly instead of in spurts. Thanks for the challenge! And congratulations everyone!

  5. My September Achievements
    I have written 22 rough first drafts
    2 Outlines
    1 Sonnet
    1 Aphorism

    Because of the number of words I achieved in my rough first drafts, I feel I have exceeded my expectations. I still struggle to create a space for my writing time but I am more determined than ever to keep writing.
    Thank you so much Julie and all of you fellow writers. We have done it!! CONGRATULATIONS EVERYONE.

    Today I have written a short story , about 450 words, about my struggle to write. It was very therapeutic. X

  6. Thank you Julie, for your great prompts
    Without which my pen would not have romped
    Scribbled words on page after page
    Sometimes written in a rage.
    30 stories in 30 days.
    Leaving me in somewhat of a daze.
    (Okay, Gack and gag. I never professed to be a poet or a serious writer either)

    Today’s story: The non-writer writer (me) and the reasons (ie excuses – good ones at that) I’ll never go beyond the first rough draft and be satisfied with the pleasure the act brings me.

  7. Thank you! What a wonderful experience this has been!

    I wrote 30 stories this month, though in some cases they were so rough that they hardly merit the label. Some even have notes like “[He meets the little boy and has an important conversation about …]”. But the important thing is that I wrote some fiction every day, which is what I hoped to do. It’s given me the confidence that I can write fiction if I decide to, and that sometimes I’ll even surprise myself with what happens if I start writing and just trust that it will go somewhere. 🙂

    1. That’s fantastic. Well done, you!!

      Oh, isn’t that so true? It’s when we’re writing that interesting things start to happen. It’s all about believing we can do it!! You have stories that w to be told.

  8. We made it! Congrats, everyone! Whatever you wrote this month, it’s something more than nothing, and that’s an accomplishment. I wrote 30 stories this month. I wonder how many of them could be turned into something publishable. I’m not sure.

    1. That’s fantastic. Well done, you!!

      Oh, isn’t that so true? It’s when we’re writing that interesting things start to happen. It’s all about believing we can do it!! You have stories that w to be told.

    2. Well done, and it’s been great having you as part of the Superstars. Looking forward to spending many more creative months with you!!

  9. I ended up writing 13 mostly fully formed short stories (they obviously need editing!) and have plans for quite a few more. I mostly kept up writing every day, there were days when I couldn’t write, but I managed to keep up, which I’m pleased about. I really enjoyed this challenge, because it motivated me to write every day and to have a go at writing new styles of writing.

    You can read my progress on the last day of the challenge, plus my overall final thoughts here: theavidbookreader.wordpress.com/2019/09/30/story-a-day-challenge-day-30-and-final-thoughts/

    1. That’s great, and thanks for sharing your thoughts.

      I love that you were trying out new styles and that you kept the momentum going, even if you had to miss a day or two (that’s one of the secrets of StoryADay. Most people end up missing a day or two. Learning how to let that go is an important lesson

  10. This is my first ever writing challenge. My goal was to write 5 days a week. I managed 17 stories, so not quite, but I learned a lot. The prompts helped me go places I wouldn’t have naturally tended to go and gave me tools to use in the future. I also learned about myself as a writer. I have always preferred pen and paper, but when I tried using the laptop this time, it went well, so I may start to use that more. And I learned that I can write more often than I thought I could by accepting my limitations and not letting them derail me completely and being creative about when and where to write. I created things this month that I will be going back to and expanding and editing. Thank you, Julie, for a great month of prompts and encouragement!

    1. Oh I’m sooooo pleased to hear that Sheri, and honored to be part of your first writing challenge.

      I do think the value of challenges like this are largely in teaching us that messing up, being imperfect, and writing less-than-stellar prose, are all normal and just part of the process. Being able to have the courage to come back to our writing every day is the thing that makes the difference.

      Well done!!

  11. I managed to write 31 chapters this month, which I’m delighted with. Plenty of material for re-writing. Thanks, as always, Julie. It’s great to have fun with the writing again. Well done, everyone & see you next year! Gerry

  12. Only finished twenty-five, still writing on number twenty-six. Glad I took the challenge. Only nine or so are standalone stories, other prompts I used to create scenes for my work in progress. Plan to continue the book draft during June.
    Thank you for a wonderful challenge and opportunity. Lot of fun.

    1. “Only”?! I think 25/6 stories in a month is nothing to sneer at, Janet!!
      Good luck with the book!

  13. Hey!
    I joined midway through May and wrote 15 stories. I’m quite proud that I very nearly achieved the goal of a story a day for that couple of weeks.
    Thanks for all the inspiration!

  14. I’m thrilled to announce that I completed my goal of Story-A-Day May, writing 31 stories, one each day in May 2019!

    It was difficult. Three Years ago, I tried to do it, and I foolishly gave up on Day 26 of May 2016.

    There are pros and cons for posting prompts that aim at a seminar-like teaching modality versus a interesting challenge, such as first-line prompt or a second-person perspective challenge. I feel like in 2016 the “interesting” prompts made it easier to write a cool piece of flash fiction. However, I think the way Julie and Story-A-Day did it this year (more teaching focused) actually made me grow as a writer much, much more.

    Thank you, Julie!

    1. Evan! Great to see you and wow! Well done on getting to 31!

      And thanks for the feedback. It really helps.

  15. I’ve kept my goal of writing a story 6 days a week, for a grand total of 26, with the 27th coming tonight.

    Tomorrow I will begin going back over them and really figuring out what I have and what I want to continue to work on. It’s been a satisfying journey so far. Not all of the 26 are really stories yet—I count at least 4 that I abandoned after drowsing at the writing desk—but I’m very pleased with the results.

    Here’s a few things I learned:

    1. An 8-10 PM writing slot is doable for me, and that’s really all the writing time I need for a new draft, with the occasional extra hour.

    2. It doesn’t matter if I don’t bring ideas to the desk. There are several stories on my log that I never anticipated writing. Which means I’m not out of ideas just yet.

    3. Daily story writing is a great way to practice shaping stories and sharpening my sense of craft. I consulted Making Shapely Fiction consistently over the second half of May, trying out 13 story shapes and counting. I’m looking forward to revising many of these but also going back and repeating several shapes, particularly those that were a little more difficult to grasp.

    Overall it’s been a very encouraging experience. I’m hoping to use what I’ve learned to continue growing as a writer and to find a good mix, now, between creation and revision.

    Thanks, Julie, for inviting me on this journey and for being a wonderful and encouraging facilitator. I don’t know that I would have attempted something like this if you hadn’t suggested it (and I’ve done Nanowrimo). What a great idea!

    1. Aw thanks Kevin. And I love your post-game analysis. Such a useful exercise.

      Keep up the good work!

  16. I wrote 19 full stories but 9 rough drafts and 3 outlines. I’m still working on challenge 31.
    This is a spectacular achievement for me as I struggle to prioritise time for myself. I often have to do it covertly or I’ll be expected to leave it for what is considered more important!! Thank you for the motivation. It’s been awesome.

  17. I managed to write 30 stories this month (though I hope to make it 31 by the end of the day). I have learned so much not just about short stories, but writing in general.

    I even entered three of my stories into various contests online. I still have a few more pieces I am excited about, but I am a little lost as to what to do with them next. I would love any suggestions on that front. I have one that could be expanded, but most are the right length for the story and are stuck in the Flash Fiction length (about 1000-1500 words). My absolute favorite story this month by far is just shy of 800 words. I am really proud of it and want to do something with it, just not sure about the best forum for the story.

    Any suggestions on what to do next with the work created this month?

    Thank you Julie and StoryADay! And thank you to the entire StADa community!

    To quote Elle Woods: We did it!!!

    1. We did! Or more accurately, YOU did. Well done.

      Yes, we should talk about “what next”.

      I have a critique group coming up but also resources to share about what next. If I don’t remember to post anything in the next couple of weeks, give me a nudge!

      But tonight: celebrate!

  18. Hi. Auction girl wrote one story this month. Rosemary S wrote the first 2 days and that was pretty decent.

    Auction girl wants to be a columnist, so she sends stuff to bbonward and it goes into the Sunday Pioneer Press, mostly.

    Along the way, last year, RS signed up for the YNB in great hope of writing a book about an unsolved murder in 1930’s White Bear Lake.
    It was going to have streetcars, the amusement park, jazz age glitter, and an all too human cast of local gangsters. Something fun to read on the beach.

    Auction girl was enthused and devoured a winter’s worth of gangland history, streetcar facts and a timeline of events leading to the murder.

    RS had to care for her mom. Caregiving ate the ability to write, the chance to have a private thought. It destroyed the thread with the same kind of persistence as clothes moths in a sweater.

    RS spent 6 months and seven days specifically NOT writing. Notre Dame de Paris caught fire and she wrote a friend so he’d not need to come across the videos first thing in the Asian day all alone. The letter wasn’t really a SOD piece, but it was genuine writing again.

    NaNoWriMo netted about 10 useable pages for the “novel” during April.
    One short story. The novel began to look like a chain of short stories. One of Jerry’s birds said it wasn’t novel form, but run with it anyway.

    May’s SOD looked like a good shot at redemption. Slowly the wheels began to move again.

    Auction girl published a short story about the ValiHi drive in and sleeping in the bug after losing her house key.

    RS made funeral plans and could fill a piece about “how to get away for under 10k in 5-7 days.”

    Wrote a final story “Midnight on the Street of Dreams” about the last 6 months.
    Thanks for egging us on with a prompt a day. It was an opportunity to learn and an excuse to write inside or color outside the lines.

  19. I’ve written 29 stories. And I’ve done this challenge before, but never in real time. So I feel proud of myself!

    1. As well you should! There aren’t many writers on this planet who can say “I wrote a story (nearly) every day last month”!!!

    2. That is what happened to me the first year! I had just missed the September challenge and self imposed it! I am glad you were here with the group. Congratulations!
      Do you have plans for the stories?

  20. I wrote 29 stories because I missed 2 days. But I still feel happy about it. I guess the one thing I discovered was how easily I could come up with new story ideas. Also, I feel more motivated to go back and revise the stories I wrote. I also feel more motivated to continue writing.

  21. OK, Confession time: I wrote about half as many stories as I’d hoped to, but my hopes were pretty ambitious, considering how much other stuff I had to do.

    I could have pushed harder, but I still wrote wa-ay more stories than I would have, in an average month, and I will take that win.

    I (re)learned that I CAN write on-demand, and that I do so much better if I a, start first thing and b, arrange to write with other people. So glad the Superstars turned up for those writing sprints! Stories were birthed that would not have arrived, otherwise.

    1. Julie,

      I commented here the other day (or thought I did) great to hear that you managed to fit in some stories.

      And again thank you for hosting Story-a-Day again this year.

      1. So great to have you leading the charge!
        And thanks. I always have great intentions but it’s hard to really do the challenge AND run it 😉

  22. Hi all! This was my first Story a Day Challenge of any sort. (I’d tried Nanowrimo a few times but always froze like a deer in headlights.) I didn’t write for forty years (you read that right), beyond the occasional rambling, journal-entry type scribble. I did read a lot of great books on writing, though. (My one great dream: to hold a complete first draft of my novel in my hands.) The horrible part was that I knew writing was my calling, and that I was capable of it. But I just didn’t do it.

    I won’t subject you to my entire psychological profile, but suffice it to say that from the time I was born, my confidence in myself was brutally crushed on a daily basis by my father. ‘Nuff said? I’ve spent much of my life just trying to function, morphing from a paralytically shy kid to behaving like a hermit, avoiding humans, fighting addictions, and so forth. (Don’t freak, it wasn’t ALL dire! I skied and hiked and read novels constantly. I had some friends, and lots of fun. Plus I love solitude! More time to read!)

    This over-long comment is leading up to something, honest. I’m not a short story writer-wannabe; the novel is my great love, but when I stumbled upon Julie’s site, it caught my eye. There was a logic to it that appealed to me. The pressure of deadlines, for one thing, plus Julie’s practical, real-time support and the fact that SHE GETS IT. Now, remember, I don’t write, I just jot down random thoughts and then FALL SILENT FOR MONTHS ON END (sorry about the caps but italics don’t work here and I wanna be emphatic). So, I knew this was probably something I would fail at. I’ve made a career of failure. But the human spirit is a dogged thing, isn’t it? I have tried to abandon the dream of becoming a writer many times, but it always comes back to haunt me.

    Before StaDA, my mornings were reserved for coffee and reading. I ditched the reading part and substituted writing. During the month of May, 2019, my coffee grew cold before I’d remember to drink it. This has never happened to me before.

    My personal goal for Story A Day was to see if I could force myself to create a daily writing habit. It worked. I wrote thirty “stories,” which in my case were allowed to be unfinished. My goal was simply to write every single damn day, come hell or high water (one of my favorite cliches!). This writing, the one you’re reading now, is the thirty-first story.

    This has been a truly life-altering experience. It is huge. A titanic breakthrough. A door opening, chains falling away. I’m shocked and humbled and amazed, and it’s all down to Julie. Somehow, she got me to do something I’ve longed for all my life. I know, I know, this sounds hokey and melodramatic, but I’m telling you the truth. This has changed my life.

    Love to all of you, and a crown of rubies and gold for Julie.

    See you on the flip side,
    Dawn Harkins, writer

    1. Dawn! I punched the air when I saw your report of 30 stories. That’s amazing. (Also the coffee-going-cold thing. A-mazing!).

      I’m SOOO thrilled for you.

      P. S. And I saw how you signed your comment. YES! Dawn Harkin, WRITER!

  23. I started quite late but managed to write 7 stories. I met my goals: getting back into the writing habit after a several months’ hiatus; and finishing each piece of writing I started.

    This has been a great exercise for me. I look forward for future events! Best of luck to my fellow writers!

  24. To the above:
    1> I managed to write 31 (with a bit of cramming at the end)
    2> I love the challenge of something every day, and the creativity it causes

    This is my third year, and I will be back. I enjoy knowing others are reading, and feedback is appreciated. I also enjoy having a look at others writing as well, everything from observing different styles (Thanks Marian) or getting inspired and/or prompted by someone else’s story (George Frostday 27). It also lets me think that just maybe I am a writer. I also have to do a special thanks to Julie, as her diligence on this site is great, and although I often miss the prompts (late or otherwise) I most definitely do appreciate them.

    Hope to see y’all back here again soon.

    My last story in the month of May – https://afstoryaday.blogspot.com/2019/05/day-31-month-of-may-summed-up-today.html

    1. Congrats, Andrew! And thanks for being such a dedicated member of the community. I love waking up to your comments!

  25. 1) I wrote 31 stories (very short ones)
    2) I met my goal of overcoming my natural dithering and JUST JUMPING IN AND WRITING.

    Story A Day is such a great exercise for me. It pushes me to write in a different way than I normally do, and that spontaneity carries over into freer writing through the year. Writing to the prompts (when I do) pushes my stories in directions I wouldn’t have chosen independently. Having this community to answer to keeps me focused on the task, and doesn’t allow me to procrastinate.

    Thank you, Julie, and thank you, my fellow writers!

    My story today is a bonus Holly Jahangiri one, which will please the real Holly, I have little doubt: http://marianallen.com/2019/05/making-it-up-in-volume-storyadaymay-hollyjahangiri/

    1. Woo-hoo Marian! You always come through. Thanks so much for ‘playing’ and being an awesome cheerleader for everyone else too!

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The only qualification to be a ‘Superstar” is a desire to write and support your fellow writers.

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Find out more about the StoryADay


The only qualification to be a ‘Superstar” is a desire to write and support your fellow writers.

A supportive group of committed writers, who meet virtually, support each other’s efforts, and inspire each other.

Registration for 2024 open now-June 8, 2024

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