None of us are where we want to be as writers, right?
As a kid, If I thought about it at all, I probably assumed that by now I’d be a best-selling author with legions of raving fans. Now? Now, I’m happy if I’m able to work on my writing every day, without making excuses and letting myself down.
I don’t know about you, but I’ve always written. Back at the beginning, I got all my feedback and validation from teachers who were raving fans (probably largely in relief that one kid was willing to do the homework!).
After school it was harder to find that validation.
I grew up. I got a job, had kids, and plunged myself into those worlds. And the writing fell away.
For 13 years!
My inner critic had no natural predators, so it wound its way around my soul like lantern-fly-infested kudzu.
But before all that, in 1997, I had discovered the seed of the answer to my problem in this new-fangled thing called the World Wide Web, with its pockets of writing enthusiasts. I joined the online Local Writers’ Workshop when the idea of having ’friends’ online was still really new. Turning up, day after day, in that group of people who were also writing, made it seem like more than a pipe-dream. It was a valid pursuit.
It was amazing.
Even more amazing was when we put out our first anthology together in 1998. That was when I started to see the power of hanging out with other people who are pursuing the same goal.
When I was finally ready to get back to writing (after trying to fill my creative soul with so many terrible craft projects!), I realized community was going to have to be at the heart of it. The problem was, I couldn’t find a community, not for short story writers.
So I made one, and in May 2010, StoryADay was born.
And it has been great. It really has. For two months out of the year, I write more than I write most of the rest of the time.
But there are days…
There are days when I want to write, but even knowing my online friends are waiting to hear about my progress isn’t enough to make me get started. Alone in my room, I come up with excuses and tell myself my community will understand.
Well, over the past couple of years I’ve discovered something that has helped short circuit my start-o-phobia immensely and it might just help you too. It has changed my writing life and the way I run things at StoryADay.
I’ll tell you more about that tomorrow.
But for now, remember that you are a writer. We want your stories. And the only way to finish a story is to start!
P. S. Have you signed up for StoryADay September yet? Sign up below, and then watch your inbox!
| Read Part 2 |