A couple weeks ago, I told an oral story at Prose of Pie–a monthly storytelling event that happens in the Westchester County, New York area.
I really enjoyed the experience of coming up with a story for the theme “What goes up,” and then figuring out how to make it interesting & entertaining for the audience. Knowing I needed someone to listen and give me feedback, I reached out to the producer of the show. Thankfully, she made time to help me improve my story.
When I got to the event, there were people who recognized me and remembered other stories I told. They complimented me by saying I was a natural storyteller and they were looking forward to hearing what I was going to present that night.
It was a total ego boost, until I started feeling the pressure of living up to their expectations. My inner voice was telling me not to screw it up, and I’m happy to report that I didn’t.
With the success and enjoyment of telling that story, I’ve now upgraded my goal from becoming a master short story fiction writer to becoming a master oral and written storyteller. Ta da!
This idea scares and excites me at the same time.
Questions running through my brain:
How am I going to make money as a short story writer?
Is it even possible? Who makes money being a storyteller?
How do you even get started as a storyteller?
What exactly does being a storyteller mean?
I have sucked at being consistent with writing daily, do I actually have what it takes to be serious writer?
What if I’m not any good at anything?
What if my professor was right and I can’t make any money writing short stories?
This is just a sampling of what is going on in my brain. Do you have the same questions about your writing or other goals you are attempting?
Getting to the core
All these questions stem from me not knowing what I am doing or how this should work. Ah!
Instead of relaxing into the vortex of stuckness, I have decided to tackle my most pressing concerns of not knowing how to write short stories or the process of creating and telling a stellar story.
As far as writing, my goal is to start being consistent. I don’t have to write for hours at a time and it doesn’t have to be creative writing specifically. I just need to write. I will be leaning on my #justwrite community more than ever. Also, on the days that I don’t get to writing, I am refusing to beat up on myself for it. As Scarlett O’Hara said in Gone with the Wind, “Tomorrow is another day.”
To make sure I am not getting better at consistently writing awful stories, I’ve signed up to Alissa Johnson’s WritingStrides 21-Day Challenge on how to write and finish a short story. It starts October 24th, and is the perfect jump-start for my writing.
Now that I have a plan, there is no more excuses for not doing the work.
What are your writing goals and how are you planning on accomplish them?