Time for my monthly check-in, and boy, this month has been amazing for short fiction.
- I submitted a new story for the first time in 2021 (“Local” to the Furious Fiction – March contest).
- I wrote three brand new rough drafts of short stories: “Local,” “The Showerlier”, and “Blood and Cigarettes”.
- I feel like I’ve maybe turned a corner on understanding how short fiction works. Yeah, I know, I’ve been doing this for ten years, but you never stop learning, do you?
I’m really tempted (perhaps foolishly, for those of you who know my penchant for wildly optimistic goals!) to try doing a Chekhov month in April. For those not in the know, years and years and years ago, I wrote a short story a week for a year (or just shy of a year, taking time for the holidays). I wrote 48 rough drafts, and despite being relatively new to short fiction, I got several drafts out of that year that have gone on to be polished and sold. (Many of them were hot garbage, lol. But we’re going for quantity here, not quality!)
But I still remember that year so fondly. It taught me so much about short-form writing, and about overcoming writer’s block, and about perseverance and dedication. It also taught me that I really only need about two days to write a short story, if I’ve planned it out a little, because most weeks I procrastinated until Thursday/Friday anyway.
I’m committed to writing 3k/week on the novel, but I can usually hit that in 2-3 days (sometimes 4 if we have a particularly bad nap-week). That leaves Thursday/Friday for short fiction if I want to. And I do! Becoming a novelist is my long-term goal, but writing short fiction is a NOW joy, and I don’t want to lose those skills. They’re too useful!
My word count for the year is already 54,084 / 100,000, so I’m well ahead of schedule on that. With the novel likely to clock in around 100k in and of itself, the short stories may well put me significantly over that. And if I can punch out a bunch of new stories and clean out the inspiration pipes, I might also manage to restock my stable of submittable stories. We’ll see.
Reading-wise, I’ve finished four books this month: Saga – Book 3 (*sobs*), Into the Planet, The Usual Suspects, and You Beneath Your Skin. It leaves me in the weird position of only having five books I’m currently reading, which feels oddly thin. XD Oh, the problems of a poly-reader.
I’ve already picked up one new one, and am eyeing several others as possibilities, too. I’ve got a light read, a sci-fi read, two very different non-fiction reads, a biography, and a kid’s book I’m reading with B-Bug (slowly–our nighttime routine has had to change for Goldbug’s earlier bedtime, and we haven’t quite adjusted to that yet…). I’ve got room for a writing book (I’ve been wanting to pick up How to Write Funnier), and maybe a regular fiction/classic, since I’ve actually got quite a bit of sci-fi/fantasy on my list currently.
And I got my new writing bullet journal! I decided to split my day-to-day stuff from my writing notebook, because my writing notes and trackers and scribbles were eating dozens of pages, and my unrelated stuff was getting lost. So we’ll try this! Maybe I’ll do a tour of it once I’ve got my needed pages set up.
1 / 4 New Submissions
4 / 5 New Rough Drafts
0 / 1 New Summary Drafts
54,084 / 100,000 Total Word Count
13 / 52 Books Read
4 Submission Attempts
0 Personal Rejections
1 Story Sold (waiting on contract to announce)