In 1952, when I first began writing seriously, Bradbury advised me to turn out a new short story every week. "Then, at the end of the year," Ray told me, "you'll have fifty-two bad stories. You'll have purged your system of all the awful stuff. Until you get rid of the bad ones, you won't be able to reach the good ones. And when you make that breakthrough into quality work, you'll know the difference immediately."
Nolan's account inspired me. Therefore, I would like to propose that we writers -- all of us who are online, who have set out on the journey, who write blogs, who diligently pump out their novels and send out their query letters, anybody who wants to become a better writer -- band together to get better. Let's commit to writing a short story a week for a year.
Here are the rules. They're pretty simple:
- If you'd like to participate, email me at email@example.com. Write A Story A Week in the subject line. In the body of the email include a link to your website or blog. I'll put up a blog roll on my blog of everyone who wants to be involved.
- Write a short story every week. (How long is a short story?
Well, for our purposes we'll make it anything between 1,000 and 7,500 words.Update: I realize now that this word count may be too long for blog-posted stories. Make the story as long or as short as you like! Mine have tended to be 500-1,000 words.)
- Every week, post your short story on your own blog or website. Should we pick a common day to post? Nah, I'll leave that up to you.
It will be fun to watch our stories get better. So, I'm in, obviously. Anyone want to join me? There's only one point to this. Not to add another something to your plate. Not to give you a guilt trip if you miss a week. Just to become better writers by doing the only thing that will truly make us better writers. Writing.
Let's get those bad stories out of the way and get to the good stuff!