Tag Archives: advice

How to write a short story: one version

Let your mind travel–at night before bed, when washing dishes, or cooking, or carrying on conversations that you won’t remember later because you are too busy imagining the fur of a grizzly or the stars above a sailboat at night. Feel something catch, a little itchy burr that makes you restless inside.

Ignore it. Work on other things. Tell it you have no time for such nonsense. You’ve done this before. The weak always wither with neglect.

Feel this one sink its roots in. Allow it no more time than you would for brushing your teeth. It does not care. It grows in soil you’ve pushed to the sides of your mind, forces its way through everything you’ve cultivated in careful rows there, until there is nothing else, until the only words left in you are that story.

Give in.

Write.

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Unsolicited advice

This is not one of those writing blogs full of advice. I am not a writer, or a person, prone to unsolicited advising. I find it enough of a challenge to negotiate my own way through the world.

But… If I were to offer advice, it would be this. Find those things to write that make you feel alive, and dare yourself to write them. Find your tribe of readers (tribe, think caves and gathering around the fire, think small close circle of people who will always read what you write, who can give you what the anonymous millions will not). Read beyond your comfort zone, read those writers who challenge you to be better by the way they put words on the page, by the ideas they ask you to consider, and rise to the challenge.

That’s it, in a nutshell.