How’s StoryADay May 2024 Going?

In which I talk about how StoryADay May 2024 is going (spoiler: it’s going great!) and how much fun everyone is having, and the best ways to participate, even if you don’t want to write a story every day.

Chapters

[00:01:08] How Is StoryADay May 2024 going?

[00:01:30] Join The Discussion

[00:02:24] The Challenge Handbook Benefits

[00:04:51] The Experience of StoryADay May in 2024

[00:05:10] Week 1 – Come To Your Desk

[00:05:48] Week 2 – The Elements of Craft

[00:08:03] Week 3 – The Art of the Short Story

[00:09:10] Wish I’d Known Then…Podcast Appearance (Short stories for novelists)

[00:11:15] Fun With Short Stories

[00:12:45] The Benefits of Community & How to be A Good Literary Citizen

[00:17:29] Wish I’d Known Then…podcast – other topics we covered

[00:19:08] Indie vs Traditional Publishing

[00:20:39] If You’re Having Difficulty Writing or Staying Motivated to Write…

LINKS
StoryADay Challenge: https://storyaday.org

StoryADay Challenge Handbook: https://storyaday.org/challenge-handbook

Wish I’d Known Then…Podcast: https://stada.me/wishidknown

Other Ways To Increase Your Joy Around Writing

Download the Short Story Framework:

Take the 3-Day Challenge

Sign up for the StoryAWeek Newsletter

Take the I, WRITER Course

https://stada.me/iwriternow

Join the Superstars Group

https://storyaday.org/superstars

Coaching with Julie

Mastering Flash Fiction – with Windy Lynn Harris

In which Windy Lynn Harris shares her genius about how and why to write Flash Fiction

1:16 Flash art comes organically when being open.

6:58 Flash fiction: creative, short, under 500 words.

12:28 Be specific in short flash fiction writing.

13:05 Editing is essential for shorter pieces.

17:37 Essential aspect of storytelling, representing a moment.

19:32 Facing fear, mystery, and self-discovery.

23:27 Enjoy working on soliloquies and rants in writing.

26:56 Background, training influence the form of writing.

29:13 Accessing your authentic voice is essential.

33:08 Writers adapting to shorter work during pandemic.

36:51 Creativity can flourish without lofty goals.

41:05 Distraction in the world, set timer, create.

43:12 First book on writing short stories.

46:12 Strategic shorts can boost writing career prospects.

49:43 Writing needs community for support, progress, success.

54:27 Exciting prompts for daily creative writing in May.

Transcript available here

Other Ways To Increase Your Joy Around Writing

Download the Short Story Framework:

Take the 3-Day Challenge

Sign up for the StoryAWeek Newsletter

Take the I, WRITER Course

https://stada.me/iwriternow

Join the Superstars Group

https://storyaday.org/superstars

Coaching with Julie

Sign up for StoryADay May 2024:

Shake Up Your Writing

In which I tell you the rules for StoryADay May 2024

ntrigued by the StoryADay Challenge but intimidated? Don’t be! In this episode I explain all the rules including the most important rule: Make Your Own Rules!

Sign up at https://storyaday.org/signup

00:00 History of the StoryADay Challenge

01:30 4. Give Yourself Permission To Have Fun

06:14 StoryADay May Rules

06:31 1. Make Your Own Rules

11:20 2. Don’t Try To Catch Up

12:12 3. Don’t Post Your Stories Online (Or Do)

13:30 4. Give Yourself Permission To Have Fun

14:47 5. Seek Out The Right Support At The Right Time

17:11 6. Dance Your Victory Dance, Every Day

19:56 7. Use the Prompts (Or Don’t)

21:43 Summary of the “Rules”

22:52 How To Sign Up

23:03 What To Expect from This Year’s Prompts

28:22 The importance of Community

Other Ways To Increase Your Joy Around Writing

Download the Short Story Framework:

Take the 3-Day Challenge

Sign up for the StoryAWeek Newsletter

Take the I, WRITER Course

https://stada.me/iwriternow

Join the Superstars Group

https://storyaday.org/superstars

Coaching with Julie

Shake Up Your Writing

In which I get excited about a project again…

In this on-the-road episode, I come to you fresh from a conference, full of new energy and ideas, and I encourage you to find ways to shake up YOUR practice.

LINKS

Critique Week

Other Ways To Increase Your Joy Around Writing

Download the Short Story Framework:

Take the 3-Day Challenge

Sign up for the StoryAWeek Newsletter

Take the I, WRITER Course

https://stada.me/iwriternow

Join the Superstars Group

https://storyaday.org/superstars

Coaching with Julie

The Art of Improving (with groundhogs)

In which I give you a writing prompt and talk about the perils of success beyond your wildest hopes


What do groundhogs have to do with getting better at skills? So much. Listen…

LINKS: Friday Freebie

Other Ways To Increase Your Joy Around Writing

Download the Short Story Framework:

Take the 3-Day Challenge

Sign up for the StoryAWeek Newsletter

Take the I, WRITER Course

https://stada.me/iwriternow

Join the Superstars Group

https://storyaday.org/superstars

Coaching with Julie

Nope, Writing Is Never Going To Get Easier

(…not if you’re doing it right. Sorry!)

I regularly talk to writers who confess to me that they’re not sure they’re ‘meant to be a writer’ because they find it hard.

So, should they quit?

So Wrong For So Long

When I started taking my physical health seriously (ahem, in my 40s) I found out that I had completely misunderstood what ‘getting fit’ meant.

I had always thought that, with enough practice, exercise was supposed to get easier. When it didn’t, I got discouraged and quit. Over and over again.

Eventually I started working with a trainer whereupon it dawned on me (at an embarrassingly glacial pace) that this was never going to be easy…and that was the point.

As I got stronger, my trainer would fist-bumped me…and then increase the weights.

Some training days are easier than others, but if I’m doing it right, they’re always a bit hard…and weirdly rewarding.

And occasionally, I pick up one of the ‘baby weights’ I started with, and marvel at how far I’ve come.

What It Looks Like To “Do Your Best”

Being a writer means always wanting to do your best.

And that is hard.

It’s always going to be hard because, every day, your ‘best’ exists at the limit of your abilities.

Some days may feel easier than other days. But mostly, if you’re doing the best you can on that day, it’ll be a bit hard.

And weirdly rewarding.

And when, occasionally, you look back and see how far you’ve come from those first ‘baby stories’ you wrote, it will be marvelous.

Keep writing,

Julie

P. S. And don’t forget that, as with physical training, sometimes the best thing you can do is to take an intentional ‘rest and recharge’ day…

Never, Never Give Up On Your Writing

When a catalogue of disasters struck, one writer used the power of her writer’s group to keep her on track…

Why do you need a writing support group?

Two weeks ago, I chipped the end of the femur where it enters my ankle (4-6 months recovery); my dog split her nail (so it had to be cut back even with the end of the toe); and my daughter’s 10-year relationship ended. (She is far away so I cannot hug her) …

But I kept on writing.

This week I had to cancel two lunches, one supper, a dental appointment and a hair appointment. My husband and I have RSV (respiratory ~something, something~ virus). Mine started with razor blades in my throat and hasn’t really changed. Larry is getting progressively sicker…

But I am still writing every morning.

Then, last night, my two young dogs got into a scuffle with a porcupine (they lost). Larry has been nursing a shoulder injury for months (from when he tripped over the old dog) and in our flurry to get the pups back to the house, into the truck and to the vet, he reinjured his shoulder and I messed up my foot (again).

Daisy had 35 quills and Eddy had 20. They are both doing fine.

And this morning, I still showed up for my writing.

For long time I wrote alone. I would get up in the morning, have coffee and then sit at my desk and write for an hour. I liked it, it worked for me; but the events of the last couple of weeks would have knocked me off my schedule and I would have spent at least a month getting back on track.

A couple of years ago, I tried StoryADay May, then I joined Superstars. (one of the best things I ever did for my writing).

As luck would have it, they had a regularly scheduled writing sprint at the exact time I like to write. (I try to host on Tuesdays.)

So, this morning (Tuesday), when I woke up and my foot was throbbing and the dogs were whining and my husband moaned and coughed on the couch I sipped my first coffee, played a game on my phone, fed the dogs, and refilled my cup.

Then I limped up to my writing desk (12 stairs) and wrote for an hour with the other Superstars.

It was my turn to host and even though I didn’t “want to” I DID want to (if you know what I mean). I knew people would show up “in the squares” and I would be inspired.

So once you have sufficiently felt sorry for me, (because that is really what I was going for) remember:

Never, Never Give Up on Your Writing

(Thank you Superstars ~ you are the bestest)

storyaday graphic divider
Icon on Brenda hugging her dogs

Brenda Rech is happily married with two beautiful daughters, three dogs, two cats and a bird named Amy Farrah Fowler. Her flower gardens are forever at the beginner’s stages as she would rather hike with her husband and dogs or explore her writing. Her favorite breakfast is crispy bacon and strawberry jam on white toast. She is currently working on her first novel and has a monthly newsletter, Thru the Window.

Day 30 – Looking Back & Looking Forward

The Prompt

Write a story about someone who has just completed a huge challenge. What have they learned? What did they sacrifice? Was it worth it?

The Author

Julie Duffy has hosted 12 StoryADay Mays and almost as many StoryADay Septembers. That’s quite a lot.

Read A Book, Support An Indie

Reads & Company Logo

This year’s StoryADay May official bookseller is Reads & Company, a privately-owned indie bookseller in Pennsylvania. Any purchase from the site this month supports Reads & Co.

Leave a comment and let us know how you used the prompt, and how you’re celebrating!

You Don’t have To Be Brilliant From The Beginning

I found this in my Free Little Library the other day and it prompted a powerful lesson that I thought I’d share here as advice for writers. If you’re struggling to write and wondering if you’re any good, Snoopy has a lesson for you.

Continue reading “You Don’t have To Be Brilliant From The Beginning”

Get The Results You Want, For Your Writing

picture of a winner's medal

Let’s be honest: fame and fortune would be nice, but it’s not really the reason we write, is it?

We write because we need to. It should be enough but sometimes we want more. This post will lead you through three ways to get yourself closer to your image of ‘writing success’.

Continue reading “Get The Results You Want, For Your Writing”