Tag: Writing

September Mid-Month Short Story Challenge

Thank you to everyone who participated in last month’s short story challenge. I’ve been going back through and adding links to Google Docs to those who have shared their stories from previous months with me on their respective month’s posts. If a few months pass and there’s enough interest and/or enough posts done, I may add a new page to the blog and curate all of the short stories there.

Your prompt is for this month below. If you do decide to blog your short story, link back to me and I’ll be sure to promote it where I can.

  • Suggested number of words: Minimum of 500 words, no maximum
  • Your theme: The demon within
  • Seven words to work into your story: red, philanthropy, safe, flight, shifty, cultural, feminism
  • Genre: None
  • Rating/Content Limitations: None
  • Other Notes: Story must be told from a first-person perspective

Your story should be posted on October 1st. Be sure to link back to this post so I can see your story ans share. Good luck and happy writing.

When You Give Up What’s Yours

A couple of months back, I made a plea on Twitter asking for post ideas. I took one of those ideas — a short story prompt challenge — and have run with it. That said, I wanted to start getting to a few of the others. One of my favorite people to follow on Twitter, Eve, suggested I talk a bit more about self-publishing. I have a couple of different posts in mind where I want to do that. One of those posts, which will come at a later date, will go into deeper detail on my experience as a self-published author[1], expanding on this post I wrote last year.

As for this post though, I want to go down a different, more philosophical path. In a recent Vlogbrothers video, John Green talked about how he felt knowing that his newest book, Turtles All the Way Down, was going to the printer for final printing, meaning he wouldn’t be editing it again from that point forward[2].

Around the 48 second mark of the video above, John talks about how Turtles All the Way Down was his book and his alone for the better part of six years. But, from the point at which it got to the printer forward, the book was no longer his. It belongs then (or now?) to the reader.

I hate that feeling — the feeling that your work, your creativity, and your art no longer belongs to you. I know part of why I dislike it. No matter how hard you try, no matter how good of a writer you are, and no matter how well you vet your work for any problem that might arise, someone is going to hate your work. It happened to me and it took me the better part of a year to get to the point where I could talk about it without sounding like a total asshat.

I know that I have plenty of room to grow as an author. I know that my writing will continue to improve as I put more work, more time, and more effort into it. I know that most people don’t write a book that’s considered to be a classic as their first work[3]. I also know that reception of my book has been generally positive, at least if Amazon and Goodreads are to be believed. But still…there are critiques that have been made that I can improve upon. And I hate that I can’t do that.

There’s plenty I can do better going forward. I can flesh the short stories I write out better — be that as a novel or just as longer short stories. I need to do a better job of writing more diversely. Even from a non-writing standpoint, I need to learn how to market myself as an author and writer better. I absolutely can work on those things going forward. Even if the effort that it will take to complete those actions is significant, I believe I have the capability to do those things.

But the work I’ve already done…that eats at me just a little.

As John Green says in the video a bit earlier in the post (and I’m paraphrasing here for brevity): I just really want people to like my work, but if they don’t there’s nothing I can do. And I agree with that sentiment, mostly. I do really want people to like my work. I’d love for them to love my work, to tell all of their friends about it, then those friends tell their friends, and eventually I get picked up by an actual publisher[4]. That’s the dream. The sales over the last six months tell me that said dream is not realistic — not with this book, at least.

To say there’s nothing I can do is a complex thought. On one hand, there really isn’t anything I can do about the book that’s already out. Unlike John Green, I’ve re-read my own book a few times since it published. Doing so has allowed me to see how my tastes for my own writing have changed, not to mention to take ideas from previous works and build ideas upon those thoughts for future works. On the other hand, there’s plenty of things I can do to work to improve myself constantly as a writer, as a person, and as a citizen of modern society. After all, in order to be a successful writer, its critical to understand that those three roles do have overlap. I’m still learning what that overlap is.

Now Offering Professional Services (and Two Quick Updates)

Hey all. This won’t exactly be a lengthy post. After all, I just had two posts of over 1,500 words go up last week on Monday and Friday (go check them out if you haven’t already), so I don’t have a ton to write about. Plus I was on vacation all last week, so there’s some posts lined up for coming weeks.

That said, I do have two small updates, as well as one slightly larger update I wanted to share with you all. The first small update is that you might have noticed a few short story posts from earlier this year came down. This is intentional, as I’m going to be making some changes to the way I post serialized short stories on this blog. The standalone short stories like last Friday’s will still go up as normal.

The second small update is in regards to a post you’ll see go up later this month. As most of you are aware, the podcast I was part of died off a few months ago, leaving me with this blog as my only major creative project. That said, I’ve been working with someone on a project that may be the next podcast project I’m part of. With that in mind, I’m hoping to get feedback from all of you on that project. More on that to come in the next few weeks though.

Finally, as for my major update, you may have noticed a new page pop up at the top of my blog today. As of today, I’ll be offering audio and print editing services in varying capacities for those interested. This is something I’ve been doing a good bit as part of my 9-to-5 job, as well as something I’ve done pro bono for various folks who have requested it. I feel like it’s time for me to start putting my time and skills to use via freelancing. If you have anyone in need of any of the services listed, I would encourage you to send them my way.

August Mid-Month Short Story Challenge

Looking for responses to this prompt? Here are some:

Mine: https://thattinywebsite.com/2017/09/01/1356/


Thank you to everyone who participated in last month’s short story challenge. While I only had my link to share, a couple of people reached out to me with Google Docs of their story contributions to the challenge. As a result, I wanted to do the challenge again this month for those interested.

Your prompt is below. If you do decide to blog your short story, link back to me and I’ll be sure to promote it where I can.

  • Suggested number of words: Limit of 2500 words
  • Your theme: Write about someone who is learning the history or lore of a sacred weapon, spell, or symbol.
  • Seven words to work into your story: army, oracle, squid, voltage, sparkling, duet, deeds
  • Genre: Fantasy/Sci-Fi
  • Rating/Content Limitations: None

Your story should be posted on September 1st. Good luck and happy writing.

Mid-Month Short Story Challenge

Looking for responses to this prompt? Here are some:

Mine – https://thattinywebsite.com/2017/08/01/foxtails/

Grand Moff Joseph – https://docs.google.com/document/d/13rE0pyS_mOl5DS97yklXztkWX8c1fB5X6O5MpwCDCvs/edit


Over the past few months, I’ve been trying really hard to figure out what I want to do creatively. I’ve struggled to find something that spoke to the writer and creator in me. I’ve had multiple projects over the last year or so fail pretty hard and get me down. So on July 4th, I took to Twitter to try to get ideas as to what to write about.

At the recommendation of long time reader Tabitha, I want to try something to engage whoever out there might be reading this blog. I know that there’s not a ton of you out there, but I would love to interact and engage with you through creative writing. After all, creative writing was one of the first things to give me an outlet for my mind and make me care about writing. I’ve always loved writing communities I’ve been involved with…so why not try to build one here, however small that community is.

I’ve listed a short writing prompt below. Feel free to take it whatever direction you’d like. I’ll be posting my response to the prompt on August 1st. If you link back to this post, tell me about your prompt response, or write your own piece inspired by the prompt, I’ll try to share it along with my short story on the 1st (likely by adding links to that post, as well as this one, when it goes up). Didn’t see the prompt until well after the deadline has passed? Still shoot me a note or a link back. I’ll add where I can.

  • Suggested number of words: 1000-1500
  • Your theme: Recapturing a long-lost feeling
  • Seven words to work into your story: Gazebo, hollandaise, archive, caffeinated, quixotic, aglet, campfire
  • Genre: Your choice
  • Rating/Content Limitations: None