How I’m upgrading my writing goals

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.

The plan
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.

My goal for storytelling is to tell a story at The Moth in 2017 and win a STORYslam. I’ve also found a storytelling workshop at The Story Studio.

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?

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What are your writing goals?

Mine are to master the art of writing the short story. This is a stretch goal seeing as how I don’t know how do that at the moment. I have written some things recently, you can see my previous post, but I haven’t actually written a full short story.

Majority of writers, blogs, books, writing communities, etc. are focused on writing that next Harry Potter series. This is not what I am after at all and I feel like I am in the minority.

I used to want to write a book because that is what we are programmed to want to write. It wasn’t until recently that I realized the stories that I have been carrying around are short, and to drag them out into a book would be a betrayal to the characters I’ve developed a relationship with over the years.

Recently, I started hunting around for information and communities on writing short stories but haven’t really found that much. Sure, there is blog post here and a book there but everything, as you are probably aware, is about how to write your first novel. Ugh!

Yes, I know that there are similarities: you still need to have a story, an outline and such, but I want to talk to people who are also working on writing short stories, or are already masters at it and making money doing it.

Am I alone? Are you fixated on writing a book too?


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Life Gets In The Way

When I first had the idea to get back to writing, after a 16-year hiatus, I was stoked. I set up a blog and did two entries, and promptly forgot about it. Five months later, the idea was revived, again. I looked at blogs and books on how to write fiction, how to create a story outline, etc. I downloaded the Writer’s Digest Boot Camp Writing Prompts, stated my intention to the world on Facebook & Instagram, convinced I was going to keep up with it daily this time.

But here I am again, with a lapse in my creative, overall writing. Ugh!

I will give myself some credit. I did write three days of prompts but didn’t get a chance to pretty up the third one for the blog. While I was writing, it took an unusual turn that I originally didn’t see and the ideas just kept coming: what if this happen, and then this happens; oh, throw that in there. And before I knew it, it was actually more interesting to me than what I’d originally set out to write. Does that happen for you, where you have one direction in mind, but your fingers end up typing something completely different?

 All set to let it sit and return to it later, I then got distracted with shifting my business in a new direction, and focused all the words over there, not leaving much for the prompts.

And that is as much of a public flogging I am going to allow myself to do. There is really no point in me punishing myself or continuing to think, I coulda, shoulda, woulda but why didn’t I? It’s over. It’s done. All I can do now is pick up where I left off, and continue to put my butt in this seat every morning.

How about you? Do you get distracted from your regular writing practice?

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