Back in February, I got this idea.
I think I was reading about Elise’s yearly birthday projects and wondering what, if anything, I could do in a similar fashion. I very quickly got an idea, told myself it was too crazy, and tried to think of something else.
But I kept coming back to that crazy idea.
So, 29STORIES is the year-long project I’m undertaking from June 2nd, 2015 through June 1st, 2016 (i.e., when I’m 29). The goal is to write (as in finish, complete) 29 short stories in that year.
You have no idea how much back-and-forth I’ve had over the past few months, trying to decide if it was really right to dedicate what’s sure to be so freaking much of my time to this. Don’t I have other things to do? Like run a business?
Now, honestly, I’m still not really sure if this is a good idea or if it’s going to completely blow up in my face. And I’m trying to tell myself it’s okay if it does — as long as it’s because I legitimately tried it, instead of half-assing it for a bit before giving up. And as long as I learn something (or several things) from it.
And I decided that a big part of why I’m so hesitant is because I’m scared. And then a couple weeks ago I found an old journal and discovered that when I wrote about writing fiction, I couldn’t tell if those entries were from five years ago or from last week. And I thought something’s gotta happen. So…this is it.
Not because I’m deluded enough to think I’m actually going to complete 29 stories in just 12 months. That’s insane. 29 shitty first drafts, sure, but 29 finished, polished stories? Absolutely not. It’d be amazing if I even came close. The point is less about finishing and more about pushing myself way, way out of my comfort zone, about establishing a real creative habit, and about exploring different ways and methods to write and finish. As much as I can.
What I Mean by “Story”
I’m keeping the definition of “finished story” pretty loose. I’m guessing the longest will top out at 10,000 – 15,000 words. Some will be super short “flash fiction” pieces. Some might be complete scenes from what could/would be longer pieces.
Most of them will probably be crap. But if you believe in the “10,000 hours” theory, in a year, I’ll be a lot closer to reaching that number. So maybe, hopefully, the ones towards the end will suck a little less.
What I’ll Do With the Stories
I’m also hoping to connect with the local writing community here, so eventually I’ll be looking for some writer’s workshops or critique groups to get some feedback. I’ll probably share some here. If any seem to really have potential, I’ll look for anthologies, magazines, and contests to submit them to. Or look into self-publishing my own collection. We’ll see.
Keeping Track & Accountability
At the least, I’ll share a weekly post with my progress (how many words written/hours spent writing/stories worked on). I might take to Twitter for writing sprints or other challenges to get me going. And I’ll share a larger post monthly that will talk about what I’ve been doing to cultivate some discipline, spark creativity, stay motivated, etc. in addition to word counts.
29STORIES updates will be published here on the blog (probably Saturdays?) for now. It might get its own site eventually. All updates and other “news” and links and stuff will be found here.