This is the mantra I repeat to myself if you want to be a writer… write. Also read.
This week I decided to publish some short stories I wrote around a year ago based on characters living in an apartment block. The first one, Pedro, is available to read now. The second, Tsuneo, has just been posted too. It’s a series I became distracted from sometime ago, but I thought it would be a good idea to publish the stories here to see if people would enjoy them enough for me to publish them as a book. So, please read them (they are very short reads) and feel free to criticise. Tell me what you like and, of course, what you don’t.
My aim is to write a thousand-word short story every day. It’s a really useful exercise; sometimes I am happy with the result, sometimes not so much, but the bottom line is that at least I am writing and exercising my brain in that direction.
Giving yourself a daily challenge, preferably a small, achievable one, works wonders. At the moment, I am also working on a book of my photography, so I have a daily photography challenge and a writing challenge. They are both achievable and make me feel like I am reaching towards my goals on a daily basis. I recommend it: whatever it is you need to achieve, set a daily task to enable you to achieve it.
Before I did this, I felt overwhelmed with all of my ideas. Now that I am putting them into practise, I know I will achieve my targets in both my writing and photography. It’s still frustrating that things don’t come together as fast as I’d like, but that’s me, always wanting all my ambitions to be fulfilled by yesterday!
Sometimes I make myself stop to look at what I have already achieved, and it never feels like enough, but I am learning to accept this and enjoy the things I learn on a daily basis. It is true that it’s not the destination that’s important, but the journey. It’s a bit of a cliche, I know. Completion is important. I end up spinning so many projects that sometimes they don’t get completed, but that’s OK. At least they are there to return to when the time comes.
Happily, I now have a copy of the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook 2023 in my possession, a useful tool in taking my short stories to publications. It’s an investment I know will pay off. If you are a writer or artist, I totally recommend getting yourself this book.
I bought four books this week (including the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook), three of which will help me with my writing and publishing endeavours, and I have a feeling the fourth one will too. Three of the books came from a secondhand bookshop: The Penguin Dictionary of English Grammar (it never hurts to continue to brush up), The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Quotations, and The Book of Margery Kempe. The usefulness of the first two of these books is self-explanatory. The third came about via pure serendipity. Grabbing a quick coffee a few weeks ago with the Norfolk tour guide Paul Dickson, he told me the story of Margery Kempe, a mediaeval Norfolk marvel who, at the age of 40, having had 14 children, embarked on a life of pilgrimage in England, Europe, and the Holy Land. It is a truly remarkable story. It so happened I was passing a secondhand bookshop in St. Giles on Wednesday and spotted the Book of Margery Kemp in the window. Pure kismet!
If you are a writer or have ambitions to write, stick with me. I am writing this blog to help other writers too, simply by sharing the knowledge I pick up along the way. Hit the subscribe button below to be kept up-to-date on a weekly basis with my progress. Feel free to share your writing/publishing tips too.
It’s time to go and write another story. See you again next week. Don’t forget to check out Tsuneo.