If you’ve read any of my other blog posts, you’ll know I’m not exactly what you’d call ‘succinct’. This is true of my fiction writing too- I’ve never really managed to grasp short story writing, or the idea of flash fiction. Almost all the story ideas I have would require a novel to execute, or possibly even a series of novels. Nonetheless, in an attempt to branch out, and improve my writing I attended a workshop last year on short story writing, and found it really inspiring, so I came away thinking “ok, maybe I can do this after all…” but then after about ten failed attempts, I decided that no, actually, short story writing was clearly not for me.
Fast forward to now, and in the past month I have entered two separate short stories into two different writing contests, and I’m about to submit a third short story for an anthology.
I’m not sure what changed- maybe those ten abandoned stories were a necessary hurdle, like me gunning my creative engine, maybe it’s down to not overthinking it so much, maybe it was giving myself permission to suck and to get it wrong. I don’t know. But I am super excited to tell you that one of my short stories, that I wrote for the Beauty and the Beast writing challenge on Wattpad has made it into the top ten entries! I found out a couple of days ago and I’ve honestly been on a high since. I really surprised myself with how much I enjoyed writing that story, and maybe that shows through, but whatever the reason- having someone I don’t know, who has no vested interest in me say “yeah that’s actually good,” is such a fantastic feeling, I fear I’m in danger of becoming a praise junkie.
The winner of the Wattpad contest will be announced on Monday, but even if it’s one of the other nine entrants, I’ll honestly be chuffed just to have made it to the top ten, and likewise with the other stories I’ve submitted- the joy has really been in the writing of them, and realising that I am capable of executing something in under 1k/2k/5k words and actually enjoying the process (although I won’t lie, editing and cutting words down is harrrrd!)