The year I wrote 366* stories
I’ve just finished writing my final one-a-day flash fiction of 2013.
When, almost exactly a year ago, I went ‘I’m going to write a flash fiction every day this year – that sounds like a really good idea’ I don’t think I really knew what I was letting myself in for. I’m so glad I did it – it was challenging, rewarding and I’ve now got a solid body of work that I’m already planning what to do with in 2014 (watch this space!)
But I hadn’t banked on just how hard it was going to be. Of course, I knew it would be a challenge: even on January 1st 2013 I was already wondering if I’d make it to the end of the year. And what a year – 2013 was, I’m going to be frank, difficult. But I think in a way that having to write a story a day did keep me going a bit and perhaps if 2013 had been an easier year personally, then the final collection of one-a-day stories might not have been as good (at least I hope they’re good!) They’d certainly have been a lot different, that’s for sure. The project also gave me the opportunity to write personalised stories for a lot of people, it gave me the opportunity to try out different genres and styles, it made me constantly aware that I need to broaden my outlook as a writer and avoid writing the same characters, situations and settings repeatedly.
It wasn’t too bad until September when my debut novel Spirit Houses came out – then, the workload got big and it became a serious effort to keep up with the daily writing. What I hadn’t anticipated – completely aside from the actual writing – was the feeling of being constantly under a deadline, even more so than my usual several submission deadlines on the go. It really did take up the entirety of my year. So, whilst I’m so glad I did it, it’s not something I’d be keen to repeat any time soon. I’ve learned a lot, and next year my only resolution is going to be to try and live in the moment as much as possible and do whatever I feel like doing at the time (no deadlines, at least no avoidable ones!)
But the bottom line is: I finished it, and I’m quite proud of myself for that.
Now I’m looking forward to 2014 (and actually leaving the house occasionally!) and hope you are too – have a wonderful New Year, everyone reading this.
*the extra story being a new full-length short for the Three Legged Mare collaboration I’m doing with Kevin Bufton and Gill Hoffs for Otherworlds Convention in April 2014 – check it out here!