Six Hundred Sixty Six Bottles of Blood on the Wall: Story a Week
My name is Kerry and I’m an alcoholi…
I mean my name is Kerry G.S. Lipp and I occasionally now (it used to be weekly) write about writing for this fantastic, helpful website. But I got busier and blah blah blah, I don’t do it as often anymore. It’s cool though, Story Worms and Setting Self Doubt on Fire do a great job.
But here I am, back again. The OG. And I have a question for all of you reading this.
Are you happy with your writing output so far in 2014? Honestly. ARE YOU HAPPY? Have you done what you said you’d do? What exactly have you done?
I’ll go first.
I’m happy with what I’ve done, but I’m not happy enough. My output so far in 2014 has been like 5 completed short stories with several others started. I’ve finished the first draft of my first novel “Everybody Dies.” In addition to that, I’ve completely rewritten and old long story called “The Famous Tail of Rami Hard” and a brand new novelette (god I hate that word) called “The Illusion of Choice.” Both weigh in at around 13,000 words. Lastly, I’ve completed, edited and submitted a full-blown novella of about 26,000 words called “Attack of the Giant Penises.” It’s kind of an autobiography. (It’s not, but as you know by now, I can’t refuse a good dick joke)
That might sound like a lot, but let’s be honest here, 2014 is almost halfway over….already.
But if you add all that up, it’s barely over 100,000 words. Maybe I’m too hard on myself, or maybe I’m just lazy, I don’t know, but what I do know is that focusing on these longer works has really made me miss writing the short stories. Not to mention when revising, I found it very easy to get down on myself for not creating anything new.
So what’s a giant squid to do? (there’s your clue on my middle initials)
I’ll tell you what I’m going to do, and I challenge you all to join me. I’m joining up with a writing challenge issued by a friend of mine named Jessica McHugh. She dared to several authors including my main man Brady Allen, to join her in writing a short story a week. This short story could be in addition to other writing obligations or you’re only writing obligation, but the overall goal is to write one short story per week. She lays it out here http://mcnito.blogspot.com. She says it doesn’t matter if it’s 60 words or 6,000 words. Edited and submission ready or puke and shit on a page, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that you finish one story a week.
The idea comes from Ray Bradbury who said something like “write a short story a week. It’s impossible to write 52 shitty ones in a row.” And Jessica issued this challenge, I guess, I wasn’t there when it happened, but I’ve seen several writers on facebook talking about it.
Well, dissatisfied with my output so far in 2014, I asked if I could join up late. She waved the blood red flag. So I jumped. And I’m happy to join. I gain nothing from this other than having more stories and camaraderie. (Both invaluable for a writer)
This isn’t for publication or a prize or anything like that. Though I’d love to publish most of what I write. Instead, this is writers motivating writers to sit down and fucking write, and I’m happy that she extended that offer to me.
I have a few ideas right now, but there are 20 some weeks left in the year. I have no idea what I’m going to do. And I don’t care, because I don’t like making plans. I like winging it and I also like committing to a goal.
So here’s the goal. Starting June 1, write a story a week. It’s perfect as June 1 is a Sunday. Maybe you live in Australia (Hi Marta. HONK!) or something, but where I come from, Sunday is the beginning of the week.
So I’m issuing the challenge to all of you reading this. One story a week, starting June 1 for the rest of 2014. Word count doesn’t matter. Editing doesn’t matter. Submission doesn’t matter. Genre doesn’t matter. Just write some fucken stories. You never know what you’re going to end up with. If you don’t know what to write, search markets on HT or Google writing prompts. Hell fucking ask me, I’ll give you something, but the point is that no matter how awesome or shitty an idea, you run with it and see it through to the end. This should be a challenge, but this should also be fun. I’m already chomping at the bit to get my first new short story words on paper, but I’ve got a few I need to tie up before June 1.
Just to be clear, I’m taking on this challenge on top of other writing and life obligations. “Everybody Dies” needs to be edited and submission ready by I think October for the market I want. I have already started collaborations with a few other writers. A story a week is my goal in addition to my other goals. I don’t know what it will be for you, but that’s what it is for me.
Come join me. This is a crazy task to handle, but I’m sick of not producing they way that I think I should. I FUCKING KNOW I CAN DO BETTER. And I want to do better. Maybe you share my sentiments or maybe you don’t. And either way is cool, I won’t judge you for not joining me, not even a little bit, but if you want to get onboard and commit to something that WILL increase your output. I’m an email or a friend request away. [email protected] or Kerry GiantSquid Lipp on facebook.
Don’t just take the first step.
Take my hand and let’s jump off the fucking cliff.
Keep reading, keep writing, and keep it real,
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