This time next year, you could be staring at a list of achievements that are directly related to the goals that matter to you…
Listen to the podcast episode that goes along with this post:
The Allure of the Fresh Start
I love the idea of a fresh start, don’t you?
It doesn’t matter when it happens (New Year, the first day of spring, the start of a new academic year), I’m always ready with my list of “this time it’ll be different” resolutions.
This time I’ll get my assignments done ahead of time!
This time I’ll write every day, even if I don’t feel inspired!
This time I’ll floss three times a day!
And What Happens Next?
You know what I’m going to say, don’t you?
I’m excited to follow through on my plans for about three days.
Then I start to force myself to stick to the new regime.
Then I start to miss a day here or there…
…and suddenly it’s June and I’m flipping through my journal and I find that massive, guilt-inducing list of Things I’m Going To Do Differently This Year, and my shoulders slump, and I spend the next three weeks in a slump, wondering why I can’t get anything done.
It’s Write On Wednesday Day! (That’s really clumsy. I’m going to have to never do that again!)
The Nov/Dec/Jan holiday season is fast approaching. I know you don’t want to think about it, but if you’re interested in putting out a short story for the holidays, this is actually kind of last minute.
Publications have long lead times for date-specific stories, so if your holiday stories aren’t already written, now’s the time. Magazines and online pubs LOVE themed stories (Christmas stories; New Year issues; Thanksgiving horror stories!).
Or perhaps you’d like to create a story for friends and family to say thanks for all their support (or: na-na-na-na-na-na-you-see-I-wasnt-lying-around-watching-daytime-TV-all-year).
Write a story tied to a Nov/Dec/Jan holiday
You can use this to flesh out characters from a longer work in progress.
You can include characters from your real life.
You can use this as a calling card/thank you note/Christmas letter if you send holiday greetings cards
Don’t feel it has to be a narrative story. One of the delights of the short story form is that it can be much more than that. Consider writing a list of holiday gifts your character has to buy, complete with passive-aggressive commentary; or a series of increasingly frantic tweets from the Thanksgiving dinner table…
Create a compelling character and set them in a ridiculous situation, or a ridiculous character and put them in a banal situation.
Have fun with this. Amuse yourself. Remember, nobody ever has to see this story, so you can be as cruel or as kind as you like!
Last week I talked about the benefits of writing seasonal stories and yesterday I highlighted a seasonal story over at Six Sentences. Today I’m combining the two, for today’s prompt:
Write A January Story In Six Sentences
Your story should have something to do with “January”.
It might be set in the month, have something to do with the Roman god Janus (after whom the month was named), or feature a character named January.
Don’t forget that your experience of January is different from that of many others. (hint: even the weather is different in the other hemisphere.)
It doesn’t tackle a particularly novel topic (a New Year’s story about resolutions? Shock!), and it’s not very long (six sentences!) and yet it manages to say a lot and stay fresh.
It’s a great example of how restrictions in length, topic or form, can help transform your writing.
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