Happy Leap Day everybody, and welcome to the end of having to read about my struggle to write twenty-nine stories in twenty-nine days. I’d like to tell you that all of those twenty-nine days were amazing, but the truth is that some of them sucked, and some of them were just kinda “meh”. Since we’re wrapping things up today, I thought I’d share some of the things I’ve learned this month:
1. Writing is a Roller Coaster
I feel like a broken record saying this, but it still amazes me how variable this writing thing can be. Some days you write and it lifts your spirits and gives you strength to power on through even the darkest of times. And other days it seems as if it sucks you dry, leaving you hollow and soulless, exacting a terrible price for the words you have written. And the funny thing is, the quality of the writing rarely lines up with how you feel about it. Days when writing feels like chore sometimes produce great stories. Why? No, really, why? If you know, please let me know.
2. Flash Fiction is a Lot of Work
Comparatively at least. I mean, I’d far rather be sitting around thinking up stories than shoveling concrete under the hot Florida sun (this was my first job, and everything else I’ve ever done seems like cake in comparison. Moral: the secret to happiness is understanding how bad things actually could be.) But even though my wordcount for the month was far from prodigious it feels like coming up with a new story every day is more taxing than writing longer fiction where you at least have an idea of where you’re going. Or perhaps it is taxing in a different way. The same, but different.
3. People Like Reading Short Stories
In the past I’ve always shied away from putting too much short fiction up on this blog, opting instead to make it a relatively small proportion of the posts I made. But in Flash Fiction February, because I was spending time writing stories instead of blog posts the balance of that output changed to about 50/50. And I was pleasantly surprised to find that people responded. Views are up, comments are up, sales of my ebooks are up (though most of that is probably due to the Kindle Select promotion I ran this month). Which means you can expect to see more of that kind of thing from now on. Don’t worry I’m itching to get back to posting regular blog posts too, but from now on I’m not going to be so afraid of “story overload”.
4. In 1920 Italian Anarchists Blew Up a Wagon Full of Dynamite and Sash Weights in Front of the New York Stock Exchange, Killing Forty People and Injuring Hundreds.
That’s not related to Flash Fiction February, it’s just something I learned this month. How did I not know about this before? Did you know about this? And you didn’t tell me? Not cool man.
5. C. M. Stewart is a Fantastic Human Being and a Wonderful Writer.
So I had this crazy idea about writing twenty-nine stories in twenty-nine days, and fellow blogger C. M. Stewart got on board. I mean, some people said, “Oh yeah, I’ll give that a shot,” but she took it to the next level. You know the one; the level has the zombie dragon on it? Yeah, that next level. She not only participated in the challenge, but she took on the role of unofficial cheerleader, and, perhaps most impressively, she’s posted every story she wrote this month on her blog. Let me tell you my friends, that takes major cojones. She’s a good friend and a writing force to be reckoned with. Go and check out her work.
Looking forward, I’ve got a lot of idea for what I want to do next, and most of them involve editing. I want to take a look at the very first book I ever wrote, Ella Eris and the Pirates of Redemption, and hopefully take another stab at making it viable for the market. After that I’m going to be working on my NaNoWriMo novel from two years ago The Dark Mile. In between, there are a few stories I wrote this month that I’m considering expanding into longer short stories and releasing as ebooks, including one called “How to Be a Serial Killer” that may make it up into novella-length range. That one…that one’s going to be interesting.
Stay tuned my friends. Same Bat Time, same Bat Station.