Looking back on 2013 one of the things I haven’t managed to do anywhere near as much as I would have liked to is write.
Of course I set up this website, and a number of the pieces featured in my links section were penned this year, but I really don’t have an awful lot in the way of output to show for my writing in 2013.
I did to write my first ever short story, and have had some excellent feedback on the first draft, but it is far from completion (and has been since summer), and even my attempt at NaNoWriMo, which usually yields 50,000 words every November regardless of my other efforts, was unsuccessful.
There are probably some perfectly legitimate reasons why I didn’t manage more than this. 2013 has been the first year I have spent continually in full time employment since I left university; I suffered from a rather debilitating bout of depression for a couple of months which made motivation to do almost anything non-existent. So on and so forth.
But I would love to write for a living, and almost nobody has had the luxury of being able to sit down at 18 with the certainty that they have a full career as a novelist ahead of them. Terry Pratchett was a journalist and a press officer for a power station before he hit it big with the Discworld series. Plus someone very wise once told me that the best way to fight depression is through action, as inaction only leaves more time to stew over your problems.
My point is that if I want to achieve this goal, and I do, I have to bloody well pull my finger out. I want to motivate myself to increase my writing output, because I’m not just going to become a better writer overnight. Like anything it takes practice, and 2014 is going to be the year I get that practice.
And I need your help. Yes, you, back there in the cravat.
What I want to do in 2014 is to write a short story every week. 52 short stories that at the end of the year I can put together in a compilation. The problem is that even creative minds like mine (one day I will patent my automatic sun tan lotion application booth) run out of ideas when faced with having to come up with that many stories, so I want the majority to be commissioned.
I reserve the right to refuse a subject if I find it too offensive, so please don’t try to shock, but otherwise anything goes. I won’t refuse something because I don’t know how to write the genre or because it would be too hard. Be as vague or as detailed as you like!
Story lengths will obviously vary but I will try and make each one at least 1500-2000 words, and the more I’m enjoying writing it the longer the story will be. (Sentence carefully worded to avoid innuendo…) Stories will be written in order of the requests being received.
Well, that’s the crux of it, so if you want to get involved and help me come a bit closer to realising my dream whilst getting your own personalised short story out of it, then please drop me a line. I’d be glad to hear from you all!