The Five Most Romantic Things You Can Do for the Writer in Your Life

This guest post, from Michele Reisinger, combines the wisdom of many of the StoryADay Superstars. Make sure to leave this open in a browser for the people in your life to ‘accidentally’ read! 😉

My husband would deny it, but he is a romantic at heart.

We’re all struggling with the effects of pandemic pandemonium,  but recently he’s given me some pretty awesome gifts that have not only helped me cope with our “new normal,” but also develop a writing practice that will last far beyond this shared crisis.

Even better, while their value to me is priceless, their cost was almost zero. As writer Chari Schoen points out, “Sometimes it is just the little things” that mean the most.

So, what are the most romantic things you can do for the writer in your life?

My amazing cohorts in StoryADay’s Superstars shared their stories and wish lists.

Continue reading “The Five Most Romantic Things You Can Do for the Writer in Your Life”

Write On Wednesday – 40 Minute Story

Today, in preparation for StoryADay May I’m sharing one of the peptalks I recorded for the Superstars Group last year.

(Superstars is a year-long mastermind group and community, but during the challenge they also get enhanced content, just like this. Find out more about Superstars here.

This lesson is particularly useful going into StoryADay May, as some days you’ll need to get your story written quickly. I don’t give you a topic, but I do give you a method for getting your story written. Combine it with the Short Story Framework!

The Prompt

Write A Story In 40 Minutes

Audio Only Version:

TIPS

  • Use the short story formula from yesterday to help you brainstorm.
  • Set a timer!
  • Spend 5 minutes, for brainstorming
  • Spend 5 minutes writing an opening.
  • Spend the next 20 minutes complicating your character’s lives. Look at every individual action your characters takes, and imagine what’s the next domino that would fall because of the action they took or the thing that they said.
  • At some point during this 20 minutes your writing will begin to flow and you’ll start to understand what this story wants to be.
  • At the end of that 20 minutes, begin to write your climax and resolution. (You may have to type ‘[transition to ending]’ and move along, if you’re running out of time and haven’t written everything you wanted to write.
  • You’ve been working on this story for 30 minutes! You have 10 minutes left.
  • Now think about how you want the story to end. Do you want it to be a happy ending or a sad ending? If the character achieves their goal, it might be a sad ending, but not necessarily. If the character desired something that was wrong for them, and doesn’t achieve it, that could be a happy ending!
  • Make sure there is a moment in the story where the character makes a big choice that exemplifies the change that they’re making through this story.
  • Spend 5 minutes wrapping up the story in a sentence or two, then spend the final 5 minutes thinking about your opening and ending lines. Do they feel like they belong to the same story? Can you tweak them now to hint at the theme?
  • Then take the rest of the day off!

If you would like to access content like this throughout the StoryADay challenge AND get 12 months of writing support, consider joining the StoryADay Superstars

Join The StoryADay Superstars

Leave a comment to let us know what you wrote about today, and how it went!

The Road To Being A Writer

An Interview with cmckane

Before StoryADay, all the roads on my writing journey were under construction. It was worse than sitting in rush hour and the detours diverted to dead ends.

Since StoryADay, some of the lanes on my writing journey have opened up, and while my writing habits are far from cruising, I’ve begun to pick up speed. I feel great that I pushed myself to address a creative void that seemed unable to fix itself.

Successes On The Road

I published one story during a 2016 contest, Beyond Comprehension, but I consider my most significant writing success is making my family laugh at stories I’ve shared.

On Being A Sporadic Superstar

Even as a sporadic participant I was floored at how much I gained.

I find my creativity was sparked and often on long drives I get snatches of stories. Having voiced telling me their adventures once again is a glorious feeling.

Beyond invigorating my writing habit, being part of the group has helped me in ways I didn’t expect and helped push me out of my comfort zone. Group chats, podcasts, and Slack are forms of tech that I avoided before but now can navigate slightly better. It was rather fortuitous since I needed to use Zoom and make a podcast for school this year!


I’m not expecting that I’ll have 31 amazing stories that can be polished and published at the end of May, but my goal is to carve out time to write something other than coursework every day. 

Freeing The Creative Side

An Interview with StoryADay Regular Neha Mediratta

Where were you in your writing journey before your first StoryADay?

I have been exploring different ways of finish writing pieces. Beginning something is not that difficult for me, bringing it to a conclusion is.

And StoryADay May – ever since 2010 – has been helping me see that I can indeed finish what I begin!

Seeing the pool of story drafts at the end of the month is such a boost to one’s writing self. I’m truly grateful that you began this community. It is an honor to have seen you work diligently at making it what it is today. Thank you!

Where are you now?

I have finished story drafts of various sizes in various genres! It feels amazing. I couldn’t have this without signing up for StADa every year.

What do you consider your biggest writing success?

Currently, writing successes are personal milestones of leaping over technique-related obstacles.

I am slowly learning not to dread the blank page, and not to let my logical side crush my creative one by acting like a haughty school teacher.

The StADa format really helps with that because the only goal is to reach the finish and iron out story-kinks later.

Tell Us About The StoryADay Community

Oh it is so good to feel part of a warm, generous and contributive community where everyone’s focus is on helping each other with their writing processes.

Being part of it also increases accountability and in my case, it breaks me out of shyness – which is an important part of learning to share your work with people.

Thanks, Neha! It’s been wonderful having you here since the beginning!

Truly Life-Changing

An Interview With StoryADay Superstar C.H. Schoen

C. H. Schoen

Before I found StoryADay I had been back to writing for three years after a long break.

I Had Ideas But Nothing On Paper

I was not confident in what I was writing and I was not consistent. I would start stories and never finish them. I had book ideas coming up left and right but nothing outlined on paper.

I came across StoryADay when I was randomly googling about short stories. I thought it was interesting to find a group that would be writing a story every day for a month.

I have always been up for a challenge so I joined. 

Sharing My Writing Again

Since doing StoryADay I am more confident and constant than I have ever been in my writing before. I am finally sharing my writing again with others and I’m putting myself out there for critics.

The writing I produce now is finished and more polished than it had been previously. Within the next few months, I will start sending out queries to get my stories into the world.

Confidence in My Creative Process

My biggest success in writing has been completing multiple short stories and finding confidence again in my creative process. I completed my first draft of a novel I had been working on for two years thanks to the encouragement of our NaNoWriMo group this last year. 

Being part of a writing community has changed my life”

It has been absolutely amazing to be part of the Superstars group and to have fellow writers at all different levels to talk to.

I haven’t had the opportunity to be part of a writing community until this last year and it has truly changed my life. It has been great to share my writing successes and struggles within this community. Everyone has been very supportive.

The progress I have experienced in this group has been a driving force to keep pushing my craft. Meeting up with blank pages daily can be daunting at times but when you know there are others doing the same thing it makes all the difference. This experience has taught me writing does not have to to be a lonely process  people have made it out to be when you have a community of writers to turn to.

A Solid Writing Practice

An Interview with StoryADay regular, Monique Cuillerier

Where were you in your writing journey before your first StoryADay?

My first StoryADay (in 2011, I looked it up) came a few years after I started to take my writing seriously. I had not yet had anything published.  

Where are you now?

Eight years later, I have had more than a handful of short stories published and I have a novel about ready to send to potential publishers (and am well into another).

My writing practice has greatly matured. I’m very happy about all of that.

(I also still feel very insecure about it and as if I’m not as far along as I “should” be, but that’s life.) 

What do you consider your biggest writing success?

Generally, I feel like establishing a solid writing practice is my biggest success. More particularly, I had a story published last year (Leaving, in the anthology Bikes Not Rockets) that I am really proud of, more than others. 

What has being part of this community done for your writing life?

This community has always felt supportive and welcoming. It has provided me with external accountability, which I rely on. All in all, it’s just a great place. 

You can read more from Monique at notwhereilive.ca

Finishing Made All The Difference

An Interview with Superstar, Tammy L. Breitweiser

Tammy Breitweiser Headshot

Where were you in your writing journey before your first StoryADay?

Before StoryADay, I was writing frequently, but missing a critical component – finishing.

Neil Gaiman has been quoted as saying, “You will learn more from a glorious failure than you ever will from something you never finished.” StoryADay solidified this idea for me.

Read more