I kicked off The Write Stuff last month in an effort to force myself to exercise my creative writing muscles in 2017. I’m trying to be my own accountability buddy, so I set some goals and am doing my best to meet them.
It’s early days, but let’s see how it’s going.
Goal 1: Finish four short stories in 2017
It wouldn’t be a true Amy effort without a spreadsheet!
The first couple columns are self-explanatory. Once I have a decent first draft (column C), I post it to Scribophile (column D — more on Scribophile below). I use feedback to create a second draft (column E), then post the new draft to Scribophile again (column F).
I’m planning to consider a story “finished” once I incorporate feedback on the second draft. That’s probably not how it works in the publishing world, but I’m not planning to submit these for publication. Plus, I need to set some definition of “finished” so I know when it’s okay to stop futzing with my writing.
You may recognize a couple of the story names from my 2016 writing prompt exercises. I’ve taken those simpler versions and blown them out extensively. Does this count as cheating? Maybe, but I needed to start somewhere.
Right now I’m well ahead of this goal, but as you can see I haven’t even had an idea for a fourth story yet.
Goal 2: Do as many of the 642 Tiny Things to Write About as I can
I got 642 Tiny Things to Write About as a Christmas present, but I’ve barely touched it. I’m trying to be more purposeful about doing a couple of these a day. They really are tiny things, and I’m hoping one of them will give me an idea for another story.
Goal 3: Join a writing community (and actually share stuff for feedback)
The only thing scarier than making a goal to write is making a goal to let strangers critique that writing.
I talked to my good friend Google, who suggested I check out Scribophile. And gurl, it is awesome!
The first thing that impressed me was the website itself: it looks fantastic, and the voice they use is clear and personable. I love that you have to critique others’ writing before you can post your own, and so far every user I’ve interacted with has been kind and offered helpful suggestions for my work.
I’ve barely scratched the surface of Scribophile’s offerings, but joining has already been the best decision I’ve made in 2017.
Goal 4: Document it all on this blog
I’m planning to post an update once per month. I want to keep my momentum going. I don’t know if my writing will ever “see the light of day” in any kind of publication, but I’m not worried about it. For now I just want to enjoy the ride!