Day 31 – Wish Fulfillment by Julie Duffy

writing prompt cover
You did it! Now let's see if your character has THEIR wish granted...

The Prompt

Grant your character’s deepest wish, today

You’ve done it!

You started this month with the desire to write more, write better, and build your writing practice.

With commitment (and probably some imperfect execution) you’ve arrived here, at Day 31 of StoryADay. That’s a huge accomplishment.

As you write your story today, think about how it feels to get what you wanted.

Of course, reality never quite matches up with how we imagined the perfect outcome (for example, I imagined that this year I wouldn’t crave Sundays ‘off’ from my own challenge. This did not turn out to be true…)

For your character, feel free to use the old fairy-tale caution to be careful what you wish for.

For yourself, however, I’d remind you that achievements begin with two things: a vision of how things could be; and a decision to work towards that better future. You used both to write, this month.


Whether you wrote three stories or 31, you Imagined yourself as a writer, you Wrote, you Refined your practice, you Improved your craft, you Triumphed and, if you’re still reading this, I’m pretty sure you Engaged with the community.

You’re living the I, WRITER life.

If you’d like to keep Repeating this successful pattern, take the next steps with the self-paced I, WRITER Course, available now – a program of writing life and craft workshops that reinforces everything you’ve worked to build here.

  • Build your writing practice
  • Develop your craft
  • Start when you’re ready, go at your own pace

To celebrate the end of StoryADay May, if you join I, WRITER before my birthday on June 13, 2023, I’ll send you an invitation to join one of our Superstars Critique Weeks (valid until March 2024), at no cost (a $147 value).

Tomorrow, I’ll be back in your email inboxes one final time, related to StoryADay May 2023, to send you a self-assessment form, so you can capture what went well and what you will do differently as a result of everything you’ve learned on this journey.

This is one of the most valuable documents you’ll create for yourself and I recommend repeating the practice after every project, in future.

For now, sit back and bask in the your successes as a StoryADay 2023 Winner!

Julie Duffy

In 2010 Julie was a frustrated writer, who decided that writing a StoryADay in May would be a great way to kickstart her writing practice. 13 years later, it seems she was right. The rest of the writing world quickly caught on and now May is known as Short Story Month! Julie is the author of writing handbooks, articles, podcasts, workshops and courses, as well as a short story writer, and ‘Book Boss’.

Join the discussion: what will you do with today’s prompt OR how did it go? Need support? Post here!


Here’s your final Game Piece (you’re amazing!). Save the image and share on social media with #storyaday

Prefer paper crafts? Here’s the cut & paste version

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18 thoughts on “Day 31 – Wish Fulfillment by Julie Duffy”

  1. Unfortunately my StoryaDay in May challenge was completely derailed this year due to an accident two weeks ago that resulted in a broken arm and some heavy-duty pain meds. Estimated recovery time : 8 to 12 weeks. Strangely enough my typing ability is seriously impeded. Before it happened I did write one story in response to the prompt about the daughter with the multiple moms, so I wasn’t completely skunked. I kept the prompt emails. Maybe I’ll do a StoryADay July or August instead!

  2. May was busy. I had to play catch up. Work (which requires paper charting) and a conference (at which I took notes manually) inflamed something (carpal tunnel? Tendonitis? I haven’t taken time to investigate).

    So, I dug deep, iced my wrist, iced a couple of other sore spots in my dominant arm, and pecked out a response to the final prompt!!! (Insert happy dance, here!)

    I hope everyone had a great time and I hope you’re gentle with yourselves. Last May, I didn’t even complete the challenge. This year, I got a slow start. Sticking with it made a difference. I’m learning to be gentle with myself without giving in so easily to my excuses.

    One of my strategies, going forward, will be to peruse what I wrote this month and make deliberate dates to work on specific projects. I’ve never taken this approach before. I will also look at the prompts again and take stock of the other ideas they inspired and make a list (or jar) so that when I hit a wall, I can pull out an idea to play with for a while.

    Thanks for all the great prompts! Thanks for creating a space for writers.

  3. In a story that has become the first chapter of Mestral’s Adventures on Earth, Mestral gets his wish to stay behind when the rescuers come to retrieve the stranded Vulcans. T’Mir also has a wish granted… but both will know the sting of their fulfilled desires when they part for the rest of their lives.

    I wrote every day. Most stories made it to Archive of Our Own. I stayed with Mestral all month, and his adventures turned out to be mostly very ordinary, from a human perspective. Which might be perfect for a Vulcan xenoanthropologist fascinated by humanity…

  4. Well, that makes story #31 and the end to this Story-A-Day May. For me, it totaled just over 21K words of fiction, which is considerably more than I’ve written in a single month in a long time. Really enjoyed the prompts and hearing about all the different ways many of you used them. 🙂

  5. Day 31 completed ✔️. Yay !!! Completed the Storyaday challenge 🎉. I wrote every day, something I didn’t think I could do at the beginning of the challenge. Some prompts I enjoyed, some I did not, but all of them expanded me, presented new possibilities for my writing. I am less fearful of the blank page. Thank you Julie!

  6. I finished Story A Day! This time in the challenge, I wrote several of my stories about one character, and that was really fun. I began and ended the month with stories about a spy who has taken years off from the spy business. She thinks she has gotten her wish for a life that includes a loving family, only to have it taken away.

  7. I wrote a story about a woman who joined a 31 day online painting challenge. Before she’d joined the challenge she had been painting but not every day. Her main problem was she procrastinated. The only thing she’d really procrastinated on was getting her work out there. That was such a hard, boring, scary task.

    When she’d finished the challenge and painted every single day no matter what, she saw she could do it. She’d also learned so much about painting from the challenge leader and group. If she could make herself do what she had, she decided she could make herself do the hard, boring, scary tasks. Her life ahead looked even brighter.

    Her house burnt down. Another catastrophe followed. All along, she continued to paint every day. Another month of keeping her word went by. She still didn’t feel strong or smart enough to do the boring stuff. But she decided she’d set a challenge for herself; each day for a month besides producing a painting, she’d fit in the task that was driving her crazy procrastinating about it. She named it “The Most Horrible Task Ever.” Well, there had been her house…but, she was having fun decorating a new one. Time to do the boring task. Was there a way to make that pleasant…

  8. When I attended the kick-off call for this challenge, I declared my intention to write story-like things for each day of it in order to rebuild a writing habit. I have now done that. Perhaps the next level is working on actual stories, perhaps not. In any case, thanks for doing this!

  9. Thank you for having this fun May challenge. I enjoyed reading the stories and how everyone approached the prompts.

    “Grant your character’s deepest wish, today”

    I wrote a 495-word story turning the clock back 30 years to when I first discovered I liked to write. I took Julie along with me, telling her all of my excuses why I didn’t have time to write. She handed me a copy of her short story framework and told me ‘write today, not some day’. Wish Julie had been there thirty years ago.

  10. I managed an outline about a girl who has three wishes and how they go off the rails. Not much of a story, but enough for me to say. “I DID IT!”

  11. Whoo hoo! I finished story 31!
    Thanks again, Julie, for running this event! I had a blast and got more done in a month than I ever had before.

  12. Hip hip hurray. I did it. 31 days 31 stories. All but 4 are continuing stories from day 1. I know we were supposed to write 31 separate stories but mine turned into a mini novel. Just over 45,000 words total. It took place over a span of 8 years. My main character didn’t get what she wished for but her son got exactly what he wished for which made my main character happy. I’m going to spend the month of June editing and refining my writing. Looking forward to sharing it with my co-worker and writing buddy. I hope everyone had a great writing month.

  13. All right, Julie, this is for you. Occasional poetry isn’t expected to be good:

    Victory Dance

    The prize is won! Though not what I had thought
    To get by writing daily thirty-one
    Times in a row. I had expected none
    Of this: each morning’s challenge, prompts that brought
    Disorder to my day, yet somehow taught
    Me, when the called-for writing task was done,
    That fractured order’s how this prize is won;
    An end to habit’s what this course has taught.

    So now it’s done. A gamepiece for each day;
    Some swag on offer; “victory dances”; saved
    (Bad!) drafts of stories. Now I’m on my way
    To something less insane. But still I’d say,
    Boy, it was worth it! If I hadn’t slaved
    I’d’ve had less fun. My thanks, StoryADay!

  14. Kept today’s short, just 169 words, and and wrote a happy ending for my selkies. I wrote all 31 days and 22 of them were for this idea that came to me on day 1. Looking forward to see how all the pieces of it come together.

    I have always wanted to be a good human being first and foremost. In my childhood, when most of my relatives thought the world about me, I had reasons to be happy thinking I was getting closer to be good.

    Later, in my youth, when my friends fought for me, though I wasn’t happy but I thought I was indeed good and that’s why my friends acted crazy like the way they did to show their love for me.

    When I started working as a Teacher and some of my colleagues, especially female, praised me to the skies saying ‘I was a perfect gentleman’,’being a perfect gentleman’ was my idea of a good human being.
    Now, in my 60s, when I have been working as the Principal of a reputed school and people show their open admiration for me (“Sir, I ain’t buttering but if you go away from this place, the people of Joipur will miss a very good human being”), I really don’t know whether I should be happy thinking that I have achieved my life-long goal of being a good human first.
    Problem is God has never granted me what I wished for dearly with all my heart and soul.

    Let me go back in time to make myself clearer. When I was in Class-IX or X, I wanted to be a Doctor. I wrote in one of my English answer-scripts in answer to the topic of “My Aim in Life” that I’d go to the remote places and serve the needy and the downtrodden for free. Very noble thoughts and sentiments indeed.
    But I never knew that to be a doctor is no joke. You have to work very hard to be a doctor.

    My academic career, unfortunately, turned out to be far from chequered to enable me to be a doctor!
    I ended up being a Teacher. Whenever my students asked me, I honestly told them that I never wanted to be a teacher. Not that I regretted it for a moment though, for many reasons. I was from a Family of Teachers. Starting with my grandfather to my Baba to my siblings down to my nieces and nephews, they all were or are teachers. Secondly, if you happen to be a teacher in a country like god-blessed BHUTAN, you can consider yourself to be real lucky. For teachers are highly respected in BHUTAN.
    Thirdly, despite my poor academic background, Bhutan permitted me to fulfill my desire of being an English Teacher like my late Baba was.

    The problem with me has always been that I could never be happy with what I achieved in Life. My mind, my soul, my entire being craved for something else, something that would truly make me happy.

    One day, a student of Class-XII Science, Dechen, if I remember the name of that bright boy correctly, asked me :
    “Sir, what is the purpose of your life?”
    Though I was taken aback by the abruptness of the question, I came out with the prompt answer :
    “The purpose of my life is to be a writer.”

    I had already started contributing to the National Newspaper, Kuensel. My stories were being published and appreciated, I felt that writing was the easiest job in the whole universe. I had a lot of readers reading and commenting on my personal blogs, on my FB posts. I felt like a celebrity.

    I was yet to know the reality!

    After my superannuation, I came back to my hometown with the dream of making a difference in people’s lives as a writer. I started writing daily on many of my FB Pages, I started writing for a number of online magazines.
    Life as a writer, I felt, was going to be a piece of cake.
    By then some publishers and publishing houses had started approaching me through WhatsApp or mails. I remember an agent who smsed me one afternoon, telling me that they were willing to publish my book. (By the way, I had finished writing 9 unpublished novels by then, including 1 on GoodNovel -The Damon in Doctor’s disguise).
    The lady told me that they were willing to publish my books. Good for me, I thought. Then she informed me that I had to pay from my pocket a nominal amount like ₹1500/-initially, which was subsequently brought down to ₹500/- after a hard bargain.

    Not a big deal, I told myself.
    But when she told me that their publishing house was willing to publish my book without looking at the manuscript first, I sensed something amiss in the deal and lost all interest.

    Similarly, for the novel I wrote ( In fact, I wrote 37 chapters containing 50,000 words in 45 days as per the criteria) for GoodNovel, I had a 20-page Contract Agreement Form sent to me. I read through the contract carefully but didn’t sign the papers!
    I must have written more than 1 million words on various platforms. My stories have been published on various Indian magazines. I won writing contests held by ZobraBooks, StoryMirror etc. but I still don’t consider myself as an author for somewhere deep down I have had this feeling ingrained that published authors are meant to have a name, fame and fortune too.

    I have nothing!

    I am slowly waking up to the truth that it is not for me to be an author. Writing may be easy but being an author is not.
    So, you see, dear friends, that I have never been happy with what I have. I mean, I have never been happy with the fact that I have contributed to so many magazines, contests as a writer as I have always craved for what I do not have or never had.

    I couldn’t be a doctor. I couldn’t be a great teacher. Nor could I establish myself as a shining, glamorous author.

    So, at 62, my last option of making something worthwhile with my life still lies in me being A GOOD HUMAN BEING. When to be a doctor or a great teacher or famous writer proved so hazardous, will it be easy for me to be a good human being?

    I have my doubts.

    Let me just conclude by giving you an example from my daily life why I consider that being a good human is well neigh IMPOSSIBLE.
    It is 08.05 AM. I am ready to take bath. I find cat poo near the bathroom. I look up to the sky throwing my hands dramatically and cry out:
    “God, you bless us all.”
    The cat belongs to my niece and the thought of God blessing this parent-less niece of mine is far from my mind!
    I start thinking ill of all the relatives who share a good rapport with her, including my spouse and daughters!
    Talking about my daughters, let me tell you that I am not really thinking highly of them either. They, in my opinion, are too pampered and I don’t hold myself responsible for the way they have shaped up lately.
    I prefer not to be in their bad book, that’s why I prefer to have a smile on my face in their jocund company while keeping my feelings to myself.
    I can give you 101 more examples why I know I can never be a good human being. But I feel my wish of being a good human granted on days like today when I get to share my innermost feelings with you all, my friends.

    And I am sure that in some ways, venting out my innermost, dark secrets soothes my soul. I derive much comfort from knowing that I am heading in the right direction, inching closer to my lifelong wish of being a good human being granted somehow.
    P.S: Dear Julie and all my friends of #StoryADay thank you so much for all that you have done to make me a better human. God bless you all.

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